Why do you need to get a pre-approval before seeing homes?
1. It is very frustrating to look for the perfect house a long time to then find out that you do not qualify for a loan that meets the asking price. It can be very disappointing and you will have to start the whole search over! So, make sure you know how much you are approved for first!
2. Lenders don't just look at your income; they check your tax returns to see what expenses you have deducted, how much debt you have on credit cards, any outstanding mortgages, car payments, etc... While you may think you know what loan you will qualify for based off of your income, this is not always the case.
3. You might have some balances of debts that need to be paid off and you may need to increase your FICO score in order to get the desired loan. If we know this ahead of time we can work on it so that when you find the house you want,
you are ready to buy!
I really recommend that you talk to a lender before you begin your home searching to know how much you qualify for!
Most lenders provide you FREE pre-approval, so don't be afraid to get your pre-approval now!!!
Pre-qualification vs Pre-approval
A pre-qualification generally consist of a credit check and a conversation between the lender and a perspective client about mortgage parameters. Usually the down payment, income estimates and debts will be discussed but not verified.
A pre-approval on the other hand includes a credit check, full review of tax returns and paystubs, verification of assets, verification of employment, rents and residency. It's truly a deep dive into the clients income and assets that should include and automated underwriting decision (known as DU).
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Prepare these documents for pre-approval:
1. 60 days of paychecks
2. 2 years of W-2
3. 2 years of Federal Tax returns with all schedules and statements
4. 2 months of bank/brokerage/retirement statements (all pages)
5. Copy of driver's license