Resident of Plainfield for 20 years

LaNita Cates

Knowing your buying power is the #1 step before even thinking "But I just want to look at houses!"

First, you need to know what you can afford. Taxes play a HUGE factor in what you can get preapproved for. Did you know buying a $220,000 house with $5,700 in taxes will have an almost identical monthly payment of a $240,000 house with $4,400 in taxes?  The payment difference is ONE DOLLAR! So you might be looking in the "wrong" price range and that $240,000 house might have an extra bedroom, a partially finished basement and 200 more square footage and a better monthly payment. So you really need to know what you are preapproved for including taxes.

Second, a seller will NEVER look at your offer unless you have a preapproval letter attached to that offer. You have to have a preapproval letter anyway, so you might as well get it at the beginning of the home buying process and not wait.

Third, imagine the home of your dreams comes on the market Saturday morning and you talk an agent into viewing it without a preapproval letter. The house has every single thing you want and you know it's your perfect home. You LOVE the house and want to write an offer...but you can't because you have to wait until Monday morning to get preapproved with a lender before you can submit an offer. Then you realize you can't find your W2's and you can't submit  the offer until Wednesday.... You then find out that another buyer wrote an offer on Saturday and the seller accepted that offer.....because that buyer was preapproved and could write an offer on the spot! So you could miss out on your perfect house because you aren't prepared.

Fourth, make sure your credit is OK. I would say 10% of my buyers didn't know they had a blemish on their credit report or didn't realize that 2 late pays made their credit go down 50 points and they need to wait to get it back up before writing an offer.

Go to and fill out the online application. Melissa Guerra will then contact you and verify information and tell you what you are preapproved for! Approximately 70-75% of my buyers use Melissa and love her. It is against the law for Realtors to get "kick-backs" so I get nothing from Melissa for the referral. I refer her because she's amazing and treats my buyers so well.  Melissa is a LICENSED lender (always make sure your lender is licensed, not just the company, but the lender should have a license) and her team is amazing!

Melissa Guerra

Loan Consultant

NMLS ID 226589


4225 Naperville Rd., #175

Lisle, IL 60532

Direct 630 442 1426

Cell 630 327 9414