Be Prepared: Get Pre-Approved
Buying a home. Dun, dun, dun. It can seem like a dark and scary path, full of paperwork and lots of confusion. You may be postponing homeownership to sometime in the distant future when “things are better.” But what if those better times are right now?
How can you tell? By getting pre-approved.
You’re Only a First-Time Buyer Once
The majority of first-time buyers will tell you the process was much easier than they originally thought. The hardest step is often the first one, we understand. But it’s worth a shot. Because a quick online pre-approval will allow you to stop wondering and start making decisions.
First-time buyers are commonly surprised to find out how flexible the right lender can be in creating customized solutions. Have you read one too many articles on the internet? And are now convinced your credit score will never qualify you for a loan? We can probably debunk that theory. The internet is great for some things, but not for tailoring loans to unique buying situations. If your credit score isn’t the best, or you are short of 5% on a down payment, there are still great options to examine.
The bright side to doing something for the first time is that you’ll never have to do it for the first time again. Your realtor and lender are experts at guiding you through each step of the homebuying process. Once you get to the end you will be a homeownership pro!
Back Away from the Self-Checklists
At the beginning of the home buying process, self-checklists and affordability calculators are great tools. They give you an idea of what kind of monthly and down payment to expect. The keyword being idea. If you are at the point of calling up realtors and viewing properties, it is time to back away from the self-checklists and get pre-approved.
A pre-approval means a mortgage company has reviewed your credit and cash flow to determine your affordable price range. It is different from a rate and payment quote in that a pre-approval is custom to your financial situation. Most importantly, it shows sellers that you are a qualified buyer.
What do I Need for a Pre-Approval?
You can start your pre-approval online by simply filling out your monthly income and debts. After speaking with a lender, you will need to provide a few pieces of documentation. And before you know it, you’ll be ready to make offers.
- Income Information – Things like pay stubs, tax returns, W-2’s, alimony or child support will prove your monthly income.
- Asset Information – Bank statements and investments are the main composition of your asset information. If you were recently gifted money, be sure to let your lender know. You will need to prove this money is not a loan.
- Credit Check – Your lender will need your social security number and some form of ID (drivers license, etc.) to conduct a credit check.
That’s it! Buying a home is a big deal, yes. But that doesn’t mean it has to be extremely stressful or challenging. Talk to one of our mortgage experts to see just how close you are to owning a home.