The Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved as a Buyer

Buying a home is a process. Part of the process is preparing to purchase a new home. The benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer start by giving you, the buyer, a clear financial picture.

Find out what you can afford.

One of the biggest benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer is that it eliminates doubt. The pre-approval letter shows the maximum amount you can borrow plus a specific interest rate and the loan terms.

Understanding what you can afford is a good first step when starting your search for a new home. Armed with a budget, you can now talk to your Realtor about what you are looking for in a home.

Pre-approval could give you an edge.

Depending on what type of market we’re in, having a pre-approval letter in-hand can give buyers an advantage. More specifically, this is true in a seller’s market where inventory is low and demand is high.

Sometimes two buyers could make an offer simultaneously. Typically, if one potential buyer has mortgage pre-approval and the other doesn’t, sellers tend to favor those who are pre-approved.

It provides bargaining power.

Next on the list of benefits of getting pre-approved as a buyer is flexibility. Being pre-approved may give you more wiggle room when it comes to negotiations.

When sellers know a buyer is pre-approved, they may be more willing to compromise on certain things to ensure the sale happens.

Being pre-approved saves time.

Closing on a new home takes time. On average, according to Forbes Advisor, the closing process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.

But if you have a pre-approval letter, it speeds up the process. You may be moving into your new home sooner than you think!

Pre-approval gives a buyer confidence.

Last but not least, being pre-approved as a buyer gives you confidence. When you are pre-approved, a lender has determined that you are qualified for a home loan.

Being pre-approved upfront gives buyers peace of mind from the start.

Summary

To summarize, there are two main takeaways. First, getting pre-approved as a buyer gives you a better understanding of what you can afford. Second of all, it shows sellers you are serious about buying a home. But, remember, pre-approval letters are usually only valid for 60 to 90 days. Talk to your Realtor more about your budget and what you are looking for in your new home. Keep reading our blogs for more industry insights!

5 Items Lenders Look For When Reviewing Your Mortgage Application

Before you score your dream home, you usually need to secure a loan. What’s a good way to do that? For starters, you can review these five items lenders look for when reviewing your mortgage application now to see how you stack up.

Income and Expenses

Obviously, lenders will look at your income—and having steady income is a good thing. In a nutshell, good income equals good chances of making your payments consistently.

However, lenders will look on the other end of the spectrum too. They will review your expenses—fixed and flexible—to help determine your debt-to-income ratio.

Down Payment

Down payments vary and depend on buyers’ personal situations. With that said, typically the larger the down payment, the better.

For instance, lenders are more likely to give lower interest rates with lower loan amounts. In general, a solid number to aim for when it comes to down payments is 20 percent.

Credit History

This is one of the items lenders look for when reviewing your mortgage application that is in-depth. First of all, it goes well beyond your credit score. Lenders will want to see a full credit report.

Below is a quick look at other factors lenders might check:

  • Payment history: It pays to make payments on time. Having a good payment track record when it comes to credit cards and past loans reflects well on potential borrowers.
  • Negative marks: This includes missed payments, collections, delinquent accounts or bankruptcy.
  • Recent credit applications: Some lenders may see too many recent applications for lines of credit as a sign of financial woes.
  • Being an authorized user: Be careful who you share credit card accounts with. If you are an authorized user on someone else’s card, how they handle it reflects on your report as well.

These are but a few prime examples of what lenders will discover in your credit report. The good news is you can also access your credit report for free at least once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Employment History

Basically, proof of stable employment for multiple years works in your favor. It demonstrates a pattern of responsible behavior.

Liquid Assets

Perhaps liquid assets can be thought of as security blankets for lenders. Knowing what assets borrowers could turn to cash quickly in a pinch is comforting when it comes to their return.

Summary

Remember, this list of items lenders look for when reviewing your mortgage application is just a start. Consider being proactive and accessing your credit report. Then make any adjustments you can to improve your overall report.

In the meantime, you can always talk to your Realtor more about what lenders may consider as well as what you, as a borrower, should look for in a lender. Check out our other blogs for more real estate news and local market trends!