As you start the process of looking for homes online or in person you’ve likely come across the terms “pre-qualification” and “pre-approval”.
It is a good idea to know the difference and the strengths and benefits of each.
Before you actually start to look at any properties in person it is best to pre-qualified first and if possible having a pre-approval is best.
The Pre-Qualification is an Initial Look at Your Mortgage Options
The fastest and easiest step on the way to receiving mortgage financing to buy a home is known as pre-qualification. During this process you’ll meet with or speak with a loan officer who will assess your financial history including your current income and any debts that you might have. Using these numbers they’ll perform a quick calculation that suggests how much mortgage financing you might qualify for when you’re ready to buy a home.
Your mortgage professional will also answer any questions that you might have about the process, including what interest rates you may qualify for, how much you’ll need to invest in your down payment and more.
The Pre-Approval is a Conditional Mortgage Commitment
After you’ve been pre-qualified for your mortgage and you’re ready to start looking for a new home you’ll go through the pre-approval process. At this time your mortgage advisor or lender will take a much deeper look into your current financial situation, including pulling a credit report to assess how much risk they will have in lending you money. You’ll also complete a full mortgage application as this will allow your lender to get a conditional approval for a certain amount or range. Finally you’ll be informed about the interest rate and the terms of the mortgage once you find your new home and complete the purchase.
The Final Step: Finding the Perfect Home
Now that you’ve been pre-approved and have received a conditional commitment from your lender, you’re ready to find that perfect new home. On top of having a better idea of your price range and what you can afford, you’ll find that sellers are far more receptive to your offers as having a pre-approval signals that you’re a serious buyer who is ready to make your move.
When you’re ready to buy your new house or condo, your local mortgage professional is ready to help. Contact them to learn more about pre-qualification, pre-approval and your financing options. Enjoy your new home!