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Get pre-approved

Most people just getting started may be "pre-qualified." This simply means you’ve made contact with a lender and briefly discussed finances and price ranges and a brief credit report is checked. This does not mean that because you’ve been pre-qualified you will get the loan. It just gives you a general idea of how much house you might be able to afford. 

The best thing you should do, before looking at any homes, is to get "pre-approved." By the time you are ready to get pre-approved, you have chosen a lender that you’re willing to work with. Getting pre-approved involves actually meeting with the lender, providing all the documentation they require, and completing a loan application. At this point, there are fees involved, so make sure you are with a lender you like and trust. The lender will then take your loan package and get it pre-approved. 

Now, this still does not totally guarantee the loan (unless something drastic happens with employment, credit, funds, or personal), but it is a very strong promise that by satisfying a few more conditions, you will get final loan approval. Nevertheless, a pre-approval shows your commitment as a buyer when submitting an offer.  Also, by this point, some lenders are able to lock in a rate for a certain amount of days if the rates are reasonable and you don’t want to risk paying a slightly higher rate by the time you find and buy your home.

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bre#01262388, nmls #1082667, Broker Shan Roberts