Getting Pre-Approved is the most important step in buying a home. Doing this will give you an exact figure of how much you can spend on a house by checking your credit history, reviewing your monthly debts, and checking your income. At times it may seem like the lender that is pre-approving you is asking for a lot of documentation, so be prepared. A good lender will do most of the underwriting upfront which saves you money if they find an issue with your information.
FAQ about Pre-Approvals
How do I choose the right lender?
There are a ton of lender out there that can do a mortgage, but not all of them are created equal. Always ask your agent who they recommend working with. A lot of factors play into choosing a good lender. Communication and attention to details are the most important in my opinion, especially in a hot market when you have deadlines to meet. You don't want a lender that wont call you back or doesn't bother to shoot for the target closing date, but instead works at his or her own pace. Choose a lender that you feel comfortable with that is eager to get the loan closed. If you have another lender that is promising you a better rate or lower fees that doesn't have the best record with timely closings or communication, find a lender that does and ask if they can match the rate you were given.
What is the difference between a Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?
Some lenders will issue a pre-qualification letter. This is similar to a pre-approval letter,but not as official as one. Lenders normally hand out pre-qualification letters after talking with you on the phone or receiving an online application. The pre-qual letter doesn't verify facts that will be an important factor in approving you for the loan, such as income, assets, etc. The pre approval letter will verify these and look very closely at the facts and numbers. This is why pre-approvals are better in the eyes of sellers. It lets the seller know that you are not lying on your application and the bank has verified everything. One bad thing about a pre-approval is that it can take longer to complete. A pre-qual can take a couple of minutes. A pre-approval can take up to a week or more to complete.