Many homeowners are on the fence about selling their homes in 2018. The current market conditions could be enough to sway you.
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As a buyer in our market, one of the best advantages you can give yourself when starting your home search is to get pre-approved.
Getting pre-approved informs you of how much you can borrow, and it’s something you’ll need to do anyway if you don’t plan on paying cash for your home. In our market, it can mean the difference between getting your offer accepted and watching your dream home go to someone who’s already pre-approved.
If a seller is looking at two offers—one of which needs a five-day approval process to get a loan and the other already has a pre-approval in hand showing that the buyer has met with a lender who said they would give that buyer a loan—that second offer is nearly as good as cash to them. In other words, you can get a leg up on the competition by starting your home search at the loan office rather than an open house.
You will need the following three things for a pre-approval:
1. Proof of income. Lenders will want to see pay stubs from the last 30 days showing year-to-date income, two years’ worth of tax returns, and two years’ worth of W-2s from your employer.
2. Proof of assets. You’ll need to present statements from your checking, savings, or investment account(s) proving you have funds for the down payment and closing costs. There are still 100% financing options available in some areas, so ask your lender if you qualify for those.
3. Good credit. Most lenders reserve the best rates for homebuyers with a credit score of 740 or above. Reach Home Loans is a great local lender we do business with with who can work with credit scores as low as 580 on an FHA loan. You can still qualify for a mortgage with a low credit score, but a good lender like Reach Home Loans will advise you on how to improve your credit so you can qualify for a better loan.
These items may vary depending on the loan type you’re applying for, so your lender may want to see other documents as well. Once you’re pre-approved though, your lender will provide a commitment letter stating that they will lend you a sum of money for certain amount of time. This time frame is typically 90 days, but it can also be upwards of six months.
Getting a pre-approval will make the process faster, more convenient, and less stressful. Most importantly, it will increase the odds that your offer gets accepted for that perfect home.
If you have any more questions about pre-approvals or you’re thinking of buying a home in our market, give us a call or message right here on our website. We’d be happy to help you.