With mortgage rates remaining at historic lows, and real estate markets recovered, it’s a great time to consider buying a home. Before you begin searching for your new home, however, it is important to determine how much you can afford and how much of a loan amount is prudent. Fortunately, obtaining a mortgage pre-approval gives you the advantage of answering both of those questions. In addition, it's the first item that a real estate agent will ask about before they take you house-hunting. Having a mortgage pre-approval is especially important in this very competitive home buying environment.
Before you schedule an appointment with an experienced mortgage professional you should accumulate some important documents, including:
- last two years' tax returns including all schedules,
- last two most current paystubs,
- last two months' bank statements, and
- most current investment and retirement account statements.
It’s also good to have an idea on your credit score. Generally speaking, you will need to have a credit score of 650 or higher to qualify for a mortgage loan. An experienced mortgage professional can quickly review these documents, take an application, and discuss alternative financing options with you.
Once your information is processed, your mortgage advisor will discuss the mortgage pre-approval with you. Communicate frequently with your mortgage advisor to keep them informed of your progress. Your mortgage pre-approval will provide you with valuable insight and be a powerful tool in your home search journey.