Should You Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage Before Searching For A Home?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be the first step you make if you’re serious about buying a home. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, don’t be intimidated by this process.

Below you’ll find some top of mind questions and their answers! BuyersView’s Mortgage Resource Center (“The MRC” for short) is here to help provide you lender information, insights and directional support. 

Why do it before I start my search?

Having an up to date pre-approval letter from your mortgage lender shows you exactly what price point you qualify for. This helps you set comfortable pricing parameters for your home search. Having this official pre-approval from your lender also proves your purchasing power. It shows home sellers that you are a serious buyer who’s already started down the path of homeownership.

I already know what I can afford, can’t I just do it later?

In a competitive market, you will want to be prepared. You may be passed by if you aren’t pre-approved already, and another buyer is. Plus, you may learn something new about your financial status in the eyes of lenders and sellers. Your lender will be able to show you any issues they may see with your credit, and even advise you on how to improve your credit score. Even if you apply for a pre-approval, and discover that you are not yet ready to buy in your desired price range, it’s better to know this before shopping. Sometimes all it takes is a little time and additional savings to be right on track with where you desire to be.

Is a pre-approval the same as a pre-qualification?

No, a pre-approval is not the same as a pre-qualification. For a pre-qualification, you simply supply information to your lender and a soft credit pull is done. This can provide a general ballpark figure, showing how much you may qualify for.

Alternatively, a pre-approval is a hard credit pull, a complete thorough review of all of your (the borrower’s) financial records. And all information is verified. The official pre-approval that you will need could take anywhere from several days to weeks depending on your financial status. Getting this completed early in the process will make it so much easier to shop with assurance. Why waste time?

Will Applying for a pre-approval hurt my credit each time I do it?

Remember that a pre-approval is a hard inquiry. Meaning typically your credit can take a 5-20 point penalty (depending on the credit reporting bureau).  Hard inquiries can remain on a borrower’s credit report for 2 years. The good news, is that you as a borrower can submit applications to different lenders for multiple pre-approvals in a 14-45 day period (depending on the credit reporting bureau), and this will count as a single hard inquiry. Some people choose to apply to multiple lenders, others apply once with a lender they are comfortable with and move forward.

How can I find a Lender, and what are my options?

Mortgage (direct) Lenders, Banks, Independent Mortgage Brokers, and Credit Unions are the four principal categories that a buyer can research for a home mortgage. It is important that you find the best Lender for you. Do your research, then start applying!

Buyer’s View has just launched the Mortgage Resource Center (MRC) that can will make it easy for buyers find a Lender and related general information on mortgage providers. The MRC will provide a cross section of these local options.

Check back frequently to see new additions of local lenders in New Hampshire complete with contact info, about the lender info, testimonials, and social media links. Enjoy your home search and you can always reach out to us if you need help! Contact us at info@buyersview.com

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