No, you are not legally obligated to buy a house if you get approved for a mortgage. There are tons of internet websites out there that can help you, but I would start with www.bankrate.com to get information about rates and the market and then, referrals.
Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to see your free credit report. They don't give you your actual credit scores unless you pay, but you can see who is reporting what, etc...
A mortgage loan approval typically lasts 30 -60 days, depending on when your credit was run.
I would suggest you contact a local mortgage broker to have them run your scenario. They can submit your loan scenario to an actual lender - meaning your credit, income, etc.. and that lender will come back and say that based on your credit we will loan you X amount of dollars to buy a home. THEN, you can go look at houses in that price range and KNOW you can afford them and make solid offers.
If you need further help, I would be happy to speak with you directly. I am a mortgage broker in Los Angeles, but I do loans nationwide. My email address is email@example.com.
ME, I AM a Mortgage Broker, after all :)
· 1 decade ago