While shopping for a home may be pleasant, serious buyers need to start the process in a lender’s office, not on Zillow– and by obtaining a mortgage pre approval. This process, basically an evaluation that determines whether the borrower qualifies for a loan, is important for several reasons.
First and foremost, in today’s real estate market, most sellers and their agents expect buyers have one, and may only negotiate with people who have proof that they can obtain financing. Second, would-be homeowners learn the maximum amount they can borrow. This prevents you from wasting your time (and your realtor’s time) looking at houses you can’t afford. They can also have an opportunity to discuss financing options and budgeting with the lender. Finally, if there is any problem with their credit, they’ll get a heads-up about it up front instead of after finding the house of their dreams.
Pre-qualification Vs. Pre-approval
Although they sound alike, being pre-qualified for a loan is not the same thing as being pre-approved.
Pre-qualification is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it’s generally fairly simple. To pre-qualify for a mortgage, you meet with a lender (though the procedure can also be done over the phone or on the internet), and provide information about your assets and income. Based on that information, the lender will estimate roughly how much money you can borrow. The entire process is informal. It can be useful as an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a residence, but because it’s a quick procedure – and based only on the information you provide to the lender – your pre-qualified amount is not a sure thing; it’s just the amount for which you might expect to be approved. For this reason, being a pre-qualified buyer doesn’t carry the same weight as being a pre-approved buyer who has been more thoroughly investigated.
With pre-approval, the lender checks your credit and verifies your financial and employment information and documentation; this not only confirms your ability to qualify for a mortgage but approves a specific loan amount (usually for a particular period, such as 90 days).
Get the Process Started
Get your approval process started by contacting Ginny Duffy at Pinnacle Capital Mortgage. She can get you the details you need to make an informed decision – like how much house can you afford (and how much house do you want to afford).