There is a lot going on this time of year for people in the medical industry! Medical students are graduating, new residents are “matching”, some residents are choosing to continue their education with fellowship programs, and others are deciding which hospitals and/or practices will be their new employers. I won’t go into all the dates because you’re in the industry and I’m fairly certain you know the dates of the events on your personal path. What I can tell you about is how these dates affect the bank that you might be getting a mortgage from.
For lending institutions that specialize in Doctor Mortgages this time of year is referred to as “Doctor Season” and it is a very busy season! The calls start rolling in as early as January for pre-approvals and don’t stop until everyone is settled …usually by September. There are three common questions that arise: When should I call my lender, Should I get pre-approved and How soon can I close on house?
To address the first question- “When should I call my lender?” the short answer is- as soon as you can! Even if the move is 6 or more months out the lender can give you an idea of what you can afford and let you know about the requirements of the loan. If you have plenty of lead time you can address issues that might be on your credit report, save up for reserve requirements and know the timeline you will need to follow to make the process smooth.
“Should I get pre-approved” …you ask? YES! Be clear with your lender though and make sure he/she knows that you don’t want a pre-qualification but an actual pre-approval. The difference is the pre-approval involves signing all the paperwork, providing documentation of income and assets and most importantly it involves an underwriter reviewing and approving your loan subject to an acceptable property.
Now the all-important and most exciting of the three questions- “How soon can I close on my house?” Great question for your lender to answer! The banks may vary on this but some will allow you to close with a signed employment contract or residency letter up to 60 days prior to starting your new job. The option is unique to the Doctor Loan and is another great benefit over a government or conventional loan, which usually requires a paystub in order to use the new income.