Now that you have your list of features you want in your new home, you are ready to start looking! Well, not just yet. You are going to need to know in what price range to look. It is now time to go get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage. You will need to contact a mortgage company and I would be happy to refer a company or loan officer that I have worked with in the past who has the ability to make your dream home become a reality.
There are some key differences between pre-qualification and pre-approval for a loan that you need to be aware of. Loan pre-qualification is a simple process. It takes into account very basic information regarding your financial status and gives you an amount for which you may qualify. This can be done strictly on a verbal level or electronically over the Internet or by phone. The pre-qualified amount is based solely on the information you provide. In most markets, pre-qualified buyers usually hold little clout compared to pre-approved buyers due to the fact that the information given during the pre-qualification process is not thoroughly investigated and therefore may be unreliable.
Where a pre-approved buyer is actually approved for a loan of a certain amount, a pre-qualified buyer is only told that they might be approved for a certain amount. Pre-approval is a much more involved process. The lender will take all pertinent information regarding your finances and perform an extensive check on your current financial status. This will ultimately give you the exact amount that you will be eligible for (depending on what type of loan you decide to go with). Being pre-approved lets the seller know that you have gone through an extensive financial background check and there should be no unexpected obstacles to buying the home. You can see how being pre-approved would be more attractive to a seller than just being pre-qualified.