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Can we get preapproved before we find a home?

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October 26 2012 - Saint George
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Not only can you, you should.  A true professional loan officer should do a lot more than just issue you a pre-qualification letter.  You should spend time with your loan officer developing a home purchase plan.  This includes defining the process and timeline, and most importantly understanding your individual cost of purchasing a home. 
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November 12 2012
You can and you should. Make sure to ask your lender for a true pre-approval, meaning they review your credit report, income, and assets and make an actual loan decision outside of reviewing an appraisal (which obviously can not be done until you find a home and have an accepted offer). Once you are pre-approved, you can shop with confidence and have great homebuying experience with much less stress. Best of luck.  
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October 27 2012

All of the realtors I work with require the borrower to get pre-approved prior to  looking for a home. Your lender will do a credit check and advise you how much you can be pre-approved for based on your current debt vs your income.

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October 27 2012
You most certainly can and should so you know what you qualify for and you will need to present a pre-approval letter with your offer once you find a home.

Hope this helps and good luck, it's a great time to buy =)
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October 26 2012
Absolutely.  Always know the numbers (ie Full PITI monthly payment, and mortgage amount) before you go "shopping" for homes.  This way you aren't wasting your time and know exactly what your limits are.

With that information you can contact a local Realtor to help find you a good house.  As a rule of thumb most Realtors will not work with clients that aren't already pre-qualified.

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck on your home buying journey!
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October 26 2012
but getting that pre-app is not a commitment to that lender.
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absolutely correct. And the same goes for agents, just because an agent shows you the first 20 houses you look at doesn't mean you have to use him when you go to that 21st house and decide to buy it.
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October 26 2012
Yes, and you should.  Contact a lender for a pre-approval.  You'll not only learn how much you can get, but how much the monthly payments will be for the mortgage.  Combine it with the monthly home insurance, taxes and PMI if required and you'll have a clear idea, based on your income, of how much of a payment you're comfortable making each month.  Many folks qualify for much more than they really want to take on.

Just as important, the pre-app makes you armed and ready if you find a house you like.  When you make an offer you need to demonstrate that you can get the funds.

Lastly, whoever does your pre-app will hope to get a shot at your business after you find a home and go to contract.....but getting that pre-app is not a commitment to that lender.  Your mortgage application will be filed after you're in contract to purchase.  Until then, you needn't commit to a mortgage company.

Best of luck........Paul
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October 26 2012
 
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