Why is it so important as a buyer to be pre-approved by a lender prior to looking for homes? 

One of the biggest reasons is that you want to make sure that you are looking in the proper price range for your home.  You may have a price set in your head that is too high or too low based on your debt to income ratio and the interest rates.   Get the facts ahead of time so you are not disappointed when you are ready to make an offer. 

 Another reason to get pre-approved is that you may not get the home you want if you cannot put your offer in quickly!  In this market, short sale properties and bank owned properties require a pre-approval letter with offer submission.  If you are ready to look for a home, you need to be pre-approved.  The banks require it.  You don’t want to have another offer come in at the same time with a pre-approval letter and beat your offer out. 

Is it hard to get pre-approved for a loan?  NO!  That is what is so great.  You can talk to most lenders on the phone and complete a telephone application or an online application.  They will analyze your information and pre-approve subject to submission of documents ( in most cases you will get a pre-approval letter while you are gathering your documents).  The lender will also typically pull your credit so they can get a clear picture of your debt to income ratio as well as your credit score.  This will tell them what kind of interest rate they can offer so you can make a decision on the price range of homes to look at.  The counseling session with your loan officer will help you work together so that you are looking at homes that fit in your budget and loans that are the best fit for you and your situation.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and do not have a lender, let me know and I will send you some names.  A good loan officer will walk you through this process quickly and efficiently.

Be a confident pre-approved buyer and be ready to make an offer on the home you want!