If you've recently decided to invest in your future by purchasing a home, it's likely that you already have a look to see what's available and which homes appeal to you. Buyers in the know, however, will review their budget alongside their wish list before taking serious steps towards making an offer on a home. One of the most beneficial things you can do ahead of time is obtain pre-approval from your lender to make the process quicker and less frustrating. Our REALTORS® are here to help with your real estate goals, and we think it's important to understand the advantages of getting pre-approved early in the process.
The Reality of Your Spending Power
Although the pre-approval process may seem like a hassle when you are ready to begin your house hunt, it gives you a clear sense of how much you can afford to spend when buying a house in Midland. Knowing your home buying budget will save you the time and disappointment of considering houses that are priced above the high end of your range and keep you focused on what you can comfortably afford. A loan pre-approval could also prove that you can spend more than you initially thought, allowing you to dream a little bigger. Prospective home buyers who have been pre-approved by their lender can search for their ideal home with confidence and more negotiating power, especially with sellers who give priority to buyers with pre-approval.
What is Pre-Approval?
When a bank pre-approves you for a home loan, mostly they are taking into account your entire financial picture to decide how much they are willing to lend you. Lenders will look at your credit score and payment history to ascertain creditworthiness, but they'll consider other factors as well. Your income, employment history, assets, and debt to income ratio all factor into the equation used to determine your home buying power. A pre-approval does not guarantee you a mortgage though. Once you've made an offer to purchase and the seller accepts, your lender will have you apply for the actual loan, taking into account the home's value, down payment, and any changes in your finances since the pre-approval.
Gather Your Paperwork and Get Pre-Approved
Once you contact your lender about a mortgage pre-approval, you'll need to provide them with several documents. Proof of income including W-2s and documentation of any other source of income is always required, but you'll need to bring along other paperwork as well such as tax returns and pay stubs. Your bank will want copies of your driver's license or state ID, social security card, proof of assets, and your employer's contact information. They may also request contact information for your landlord and documentation of current debts owed.
Pre-approval for a home mortgage is a smart move for buyers and should be your first step in the home buying process. Our REALTORS® know that you'll be glad you did. For more information on homes in the Midland area, contact Ayre/Rhinehart REALTORS® today.