Should you get pre-approved or pre-qualified first?

Pre-approval is the process in which a  mortgage lender or bank analyzes your finances to decide whether or not they will give you a loan for a home and how much they are willing to loan you.  It is not necessary to be pre-approved prior to beginning your home search, but it does help make the the process easier.

The best way to start your search for a home is by hiring a Realtor®. Although he or she can’t tell you where to go to obtain financing to purchase your home, your Realtor(R) has worked with specific mortgage lenders and banks and can give you honest advice about where to begin.  CENTURY 21 APD Associates is a full service real estate brokerage and we encourage our agents to walk with you every step of the way, and that includes supporting you through the pre-approval.  

In most cases this is what you will need for a loan application appointment:

  1. 2 most recent pay stubs for each borrower
  2. 2 most recent years of W2 forms
  3. 2 most recent years of federal income tax returns
  4. 2 most recent months of bank statements
  5. Your Driver’s license (or any other form of government-issued photo ID)
  6. Your Social Security card

At your appointment you will be asked to sign a release which permits the mortgage company to run a credit check and usually you will be asked to pay a credit check fee which can be anywhere from $50 to $75.

Homeownership is possible for EVERYONE, but depending on circumstances, it may take longer for some people to qualify to for a loan than others.  Even if you don’t currently qualify for a loan, going to a loan application appointment can help you figure out what you need to do to qualify in the future.  And that in itself is also an important step toward homeownership.