When shopping for a new home, one of the first questions home buyers need to answer is “How much home can I afford?” Answering this question involves a thoughtful analysis of your assets, income and debts.
Each mortgage program has its own set of requirements and rules. As a result, the simple question “How much can I afford?” can be difficult to answer without a careful analysis of your personal financial situation. Mortgage originators and real estate agents frequently call this analysis “qualifying” (or “pre-qualifying” if you do this before you shop for a home).
By Pre-qualifying for a mortgage loan, you can drastically reduce the time and troubles associated with buying a home.
Much like pre-qualifying, pre-approval means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power. You can visit as many lenders as you like and get several pre-approvals, but keep in mind that each one carries with it a new credit check, which will show up on future credit reports.
Although not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter can be shown to listing brokers when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. This information is important to owners since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained.
Click the link called “Area Information” (above) and then select “Banks & Financial Institutions” for a list of local lenders and mortgage loan officers.