There is no doubt about it:
It is a very competitive market today if you are looking to buy a home.
Inventory is near record lows. At the same time, more and more homebuyers are entering the market. This means you will need every advantage to grab that perfect home when you do find it.
One no-brainer aspect of preparing to buy a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
After all, getting pre-approved informs you of how much you can borrow.
It is something you will need to do at a later point anyway.
In our current competitive market, it can mean the difference between having your offer accepted or having to watch your dream home go to somebody else.
But here is the crazy thing: in spite of all these good reasons, less than 10% of buyers who get a mortgage get pre-approved by the lender who originated the loan.
In other words, you can definitely get a leg up on the competition by starting your home search at the loan office rather than at the open house.
In general, here’s what you will need:
1. Proof of income. At a minimum, lenders will want to see pay stubs from the past 30 days showing your year-to-date income, two years of federal tax returns, and two years of W-2 forms from your employer.
2. Proof of assets. You will need to present statements from your checking, savings, or investment accounts to prove that you have funds for the down payment and closing costs.
3. Good credit. Most lenders reserve the best rates for homebuyers with a credit score of 740 or above. You can still qualify for a mortgage with a lower credit score, but a good lender will also recommend ways to improve your credit and qualify for a better loan.
These are the most common things you will need to get pre-approved, though your lender might want to see some other documents as well.
Once you are pre-approved, what happens then?
The lender has committed to lending you a given sum of money for a certain period of time (typically 90 days).
This will make the buying process faster, more convenient, and less stressful. Most importantly, it will make it more likely that your offer for that perfect home gets accepted.
If you have any other questions, would like more information, or are ready to start your home buying process in earnest, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.