Know the difference between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualify.
Many lenders will check your credit score, verify your income and quickly issue you a pre-approval letter to begin your real estate search. Pre-approval is a good beginning, however, a great lender will take that process much further.
This process is similar to pre-approval but more detailed. The mortgage broker or lender will take you through the process as if you have already found a home. They will evaluate credit scores, income, and debt to income ratios. They may include closing costs, insurance, taxes, flood insurance, mortgage insurance and numerous other costs that will be associated with owning a home.
A quality lender or mortgage broker will take potential borrowers through an extended loan application process that pre-qualifies them for a mortgage loan. This is different than a pre-approval letter. You as a potential borrower need to know the amount you can effectively borrow and whether or not you can afford the payments, insurance, taxes and other costs that come with home ownership. By knowing all the costs associated with ownership you can make an informed decision while purchasing real estate. Once you have taken the step to pre-qualify, your real estate agent will be armed with the right information to help you through the buying process. A pre-qualification letter can strengthen your position in negotiating a purchase price.
To take the first step toward making your American dream come true, check out the resource tab for a list of A.R.E.A preferred lenders!