Are you looking for a new home? If yes, you should consider getting pre-approved before you start house hunting.
A pre-approval will give you an idea of how much you can qualify for before starting your search for your home.
In fact, it’s a waste of your time to look at homes before going through the mortgage pre-approval process.
Buying a home is exciting, and it can be tempting to jump right into looking for the perfect house, especially if this is your first time.
BUT before you start looking, it’s a really good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your house hunting journey.
Benefits Of Getting Preapproved
Some of the benefits of getting pre-approved include:
You know exactly what you can qualify for.
If you start looking at houses before you get pre-approved, you may be looking at houses outside of your price range. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is not as easy as getting a car.
Going through the pre-approval process will help you understand exactly what you can afford, how much down payment you’ll need, and how much you’ll need in closing costs.
Your offer will look stronger
Sellers and real estate agents need confidence that the buyer making the offer can get approved for financing.
A pre-approval letter helps provide the seller peace of mind, knowing that you can get mortgage financing for the home.
A seller will most likely choose your offer over someone who doesn’t have a pre-approval letter.
You are able to move quickly with offers
When you’re pre-approved, you can make offers on houses more quickly. The pre-approval process can take some time.
Let’s say that you find a house you really like and want to make an offer on, but the seller’s real estate agent won’t even present the offer to the seller until you have a pre-approval letter.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can take a week or so, so now your offer is delayed by a week.
Another buyer can come in and get their offer accepted on the same house while you are working on getting your paperwork together for the pre-approval.
Difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification
A prequalification is an estimate of the amount of home loan you can qualify for. It’s based on an estimated evaluation of your income and other information rather than actual information. Usually doesn’t require a credit pull.
A mortgage pre-approval is a document from a lender that tells you exactly how much of a loan you can get. It’s based on a review of your financial information, such as income, bank statements, and your credit report.
A pre-approval will require the following documents
A pre-approval will require verification of your identity, credit score and history, employment and income history, and a review of your assets.
You’ll be asked to complete a loan application, and provide some documentation for review.
You’ll need to show a form of identification like your driver’s license or passport to prove who you are.
Income and employment
Income needs to be verified. Income verification documents depend on how you get paid.
Generally you’ll need:
- Last 30 days of paystubs
- Last 2 years of W2s
If you are self-employed or receive 1099s, you’ll need:
- Last two years of tax returns for personal and business
If you are trying to qualify for a self-employed mortgage like the bank statement program, you’ll need:
- Last 12 or 24 months of business bank statements.
If there is a down payment requirement or you need funds for closing costs, lenders will want to confirm that you have these funds available.
You’ll need to provide:
- Last 2 months of bank statements or asset statements
- If the funds are going to be a gift, then a gift letter will be needed. This can be requested from the loan officer as there is a specific format for the gift letter.
You need to show proof of any retirement income if you are retired. Usually, the most recent award letter or if you receive stubs from a pension will satisfy this request.
How long is the pre-approval good for?
Each lender is different; pre-approval from Coole Home is good for 120 days. After 120 days, a new credit check and updated income docs will be required.
Is a credit check required?
You have to make a credit inquiry to get a mortgage. It’s a necessary part of the process, so without a credit check, there is no pre-approval.
Should You Get a Pre-Approval?
If you’re buying a home, YES. A pre-approval gives you an idea of what you can qualify for and how much money you’ll need to purchase your house.
How do you get the ball rolling?
A Coole Home loan officer will be happy to help. We specialize in working with first-time buyers, and we can walk you through every step of the pre-approval process to make things easy. Fill out the form below to get started.
Are you ready to apply? Start the process by completing the form below.