There is a difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved. Pre-Qualification: A mortgage loan pre-qualification is simply an estimate of how much house you can afford and how much money a lender would be willing to loan you. This is based on a conversation between you and the lender without having the lender verify your financials and credit history. The lender would then provide you with a ballpark figure in writing of how much he thinks you could afford to pay for a monthly mortgage. There is no cost involved and there is no commitment on either side. This estimate is just helpful in helping you figure out if buying a home is a viable option, and if so, what your price range would probably be.Pre-approval: Getting pre-approved means that you have a tentative commitment from a specific lender for mortgage funding. In this case, you provide a home loan lender with actual documentation of your income, assets and debts. The bank will run a credit check and work to verify all your employment and financial information. Once you are approved, the lender will give you a letter of commitment, stating how much money her bank is willing to loan you for a home purchase.It is important to understand, however, that even a pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will be approved for a mortgage loan. The funding will only be given when the property appraisal, title search, and other verifications check out on the home you have chosen to buy. Neither is the pre-approval binding; you can still obtain a mortgage from a different lender. If you do stick with the same company that pre-approved you though, the application process will be much shorter once you find the right house.
If 3 pending sales fell through, I would have some serious concerns about buying a unit especially when the HOA is under a lawsuit.I would first wait and see what happens to the HOA lawsuit. If you are renting and things go sour, you can leave without any financial obligation to the HOA.If the HOA wins, then ask yourself if you are going to stay in the area for more than 5 years. If not, then it may not make sense to purchase a property. If you decide to stay and you want to purchase a unit under the HOA and the bank will not lend, you could always pursue purchase through a land contract.
I see why you are concerned. Let's see if we can figure this out.First, we need to look at your PMI. PMI is the mortgage insurance that is paid if you did not put 20% down on the loan. PMI is generally 1/2 of 1% of the loan amount then divided by 12 to give you a monthly payment. With a PMI of $230 per month, you would be looking at a loan of $552,000 with 0% down. I doubt this is the case. So, I bet your PMI includes the monthly pro-ration of your real estate taxes and property insurance. If so, then $230 is not unreasonable.You can eliminate your PMI by getting 20% equity in the property either through value appreciation, remodeling or paying down your mortgage. If you think the property is worth 20% more than your loan balance, talk to your lender to see if they can eliminate the PMI. Of course, you will still need to set aside money for your taxes and insurance premiums.Your interest rate is very low which makes me wonder if you are on an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). If so, then your rate will adjust to market rates after a certain amount of time (generally 3 - 5 years). This will increase your payment.If you have 20% equity and an ARM, you could look into refinancing for a 30 year fixed mortgage. It would no doubt lower your total payment and lock the payment at that amount.