Starting your home buying journey without first getting a Pre-Approval Letter is equivalent to walking into the grocery store without bringing your wallet. So what is a Pre-Approval Letter? This is when your trusted lender verifies your provided information and documentation to determine exactly how much you qualify to borrow.
Some of the documents you will need to provide:
Last 2 Years of W-2s
Last 2 Federal Tax Returns
2 Months of Bank Statements
Keep in mind, a Pre-Approval Letter is not a loan commitment letter, your application and information will still need to go through the Underwriting and Loan Approval processes.
Many buyers assume that they will qualify because someone they know qualified and bought a home, they will be able to also. Each and every situation is much different; speak to a lender early on. Base your decisions on facts, not assumptions.
Know Your Situation
With a Pre-Approval Letter, the lender will also discuss with you probable payments and required funds for the purchase. Knowing these numbers ahead of time may adjust your search criteria. Just because you qualify for an amount doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire amount. Know what your payments will be and know what you’re most comfortable with.
Find and fall in love with your perfect dream home, it’s priced at what you think you can afford. Next, you call a lender to get your Pre-Approval Letter and learn that not only do you not qualify for that loan amount, but you don’t qualify at all. This is never a situation you want to find yourself in. Talk to a lender early!
The real estate market remains very competitive. You have to stand out from all of the other buyers that are also out looking. Having a strong current Pre-Approval Letter from a great local lender will show you’re serious.
No Offer Accepted Without It
Great agents will suggest that the seller require that Pre-Approval Letters be submitted with any and all offers for their property. This proves you are a ready, willing and able buyer. Without a Pre-Approval Letter, your offer could very well be rejected automatically.
Did you know?
It’s reported that there are approximately 40 million errors on credit reports. To find this information out early in the process gives you the time and opportunity to get the error resolved. Even a 20 point difference on your credit can have long term effects, ranging from interest rates, down payments and more. Remember, it’s never too early to start!
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