The sooner you get your mortgage pre-approval in order, the sooner you’ll be able to really dig into the process of house-hunting. A pre-approval lets you know exactly how much money you can borrow from your lender. Some lenders will do pre-approvals over the phone or via the web; others will want to meet in person. They’ll ask you about your monthly debt, your assets (how much money you have in savings) and your income. The lender will also pull your credit and take a look at your credit score.
A pre-approval is a tentative “okay” from the lender. They’ll issue you a pre-approval document that lets you know how much you’re approved for. Having that in hand when you start shopping will make your life much easier! Once you have that golden piece of paper, you can make an offer on a home and have the peace of mind to know that the mortgage is just one step away.
A good place to start is your bank; you can also ask friends and family for referrals for lenders or mortgage brokers. Real estate agents are another good source, as they can point you in the direction of a lender.
DID YOU KNOW? According to the 2006 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical homebuyer is 41 years old, makes $71,800 and purchased a home costing $214,000 with 1,815 square feet? Sixty-one percent of homebuyers are married couples. But the number of single women buying homes is on the rise: A record 22%, compared with just 9% of single men. Furthermore, the average first-time home buyer is 32 years old and makes an average of $58,300? They purchased a home costing $165,000 and plan to be in the home for six years.