ENOLA, PA (Jan. 18, 2016) – Going through the mortgage pre-qualification process before looking at houses can save buyers both time and heartache.
“Many times buyers begin looking for a home, with no idea of how much they can afford to spend and how much they’ll qualify for,” said Greater Harrisburg Association of REALTORS® President Jodi Diego. “The pre-qualification is based on information like income and existing debt. It’s a good place to start so buyers have a ballpark idea of what their buying power is. It helps them focus on the types of homes that are in their price range.”
A pre-qualification is different than a pre-approval. A pre-approval is more detailed and will require additional information from the buyer. Buyers should make an appointment with a lender or mortgage broker and be prepared to provide much more detailed information about their financial situation. Also, the loan officer may pull a credit report at this time. Buyers should draft a budget that accounts for mortgage payments, potential mortgage rate changes, insurance, maintenance, and other expenses in their lives.
“A pre-approval is a much better way of showing your likely ability to qualify for a mortgage but it’s still not a guarantee,” Diego said. “It’s important to understand that while the mortgage lender may give a pre-approval for a certain amount, other factors may affect how much you are ultimately eligible to borrow.
“For example, if you have a change in employment status or there are defects in the property you’re considering, the lender may not be willing to lend the entire amount you qualify for,” she added. In addition, large purchases during the mortgage application process can derail the approval process.
“Pre-approved buyers show home sellers that these buyers are able to purchase their property and help make an offer on a property go more smoothly,” Diego said.