You’ve been waiting patiently, you have been saving every penny. Making sacrifices to ensure your finances are in order. The time is finally here to start looking for that house you have always wanted. You followed all the advice you can remember, but now that you have finally arrived, what do you do next?
As a family-owned Mortgage Company with over 25 years of experience, without a doubt, your very next stop should be a planned visit with a reputable, locally licensed mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage pre-approval. It’s a simple step, but one that often gets skipped or overlooked.
What is a pre approval, and how long does a mortgage pre-approval take anyway? A mortgage pre-approval is nothing more than a letter from your lender representing you as a great candidate for a home mortgage loan. A mortgage pre-approval letter states that your lender has taken the time to review your income, assets, expenses, and credit to find that you would be the perfect customer. In other words, it lets the seller know you can actually buy the property.
Sounds complicated, how long will that take?
Sounds complicated, how long will a mortgage pre-approval take? Some folks may be a little timid about approaching a lender for pre-approval. Others may skip the step altogether in their excitement to find that perfect property, thinking a pre-approval will take too long. However, what good does it do to jump the gun, when you won’t be able to make a viable offer without a mortgage pre-approval letter? In many of the nations more competitive markets, skipping pre-approval could really limit your options. Frequently, homes see multiple offers and if you are not ready to throw your offer into the ring, you could lose the opportunity altogether.
Obtaining a home mortgage should be a painless process
So how long does a mortgage pre-approval take, does it take longer in some states than others, and just what information will you need to provide?
Let’s dispel some worry right now. Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval should be a painless process. In most cases, it will take no more than a day or two to obtain a pre-approval letter so you can start shopping for your new dream home. Let’s take a closer look, and shed some light on how long it takes to get a pre-approval and why.
Do your homework
The first step and I think the golden rule of personal and family financing is to do your homework. Go ahead and dig in. It’s time to source out a few reputable lenders to choose from (make sure you feel comfortable with the candidate you select, they will be guiding you through the financial process of your home). Once you have decided on a few lenders, it’s time to do a little interviewing. Give the lenders you’ve found a call and get some quotes. You can do this without a “hard” credit pull since the quote is based on basic unsubstantiated information which you can provide the lender over the phone. Get a free rate quote from Sammamish right here.
Wait, back up for a second
Perhaps it’s a good time to back up for a second and quickly point out the difference between pre-qualification, and pre-approval.
- Pre Qualification: In a mortgage pre-qualification, the lender is simply estimating whether you qualify based information you provide. There is no credit pull here, no pay stubs, no W-2s. Most sellers and Realtors will not accept a pre-qualification letter since nothing was actually verified and reviewed.
- Pre Approval: A mortgage pre-approval is a letter from your lender stating your financial information has been verified, and you qualify for a specific purchase price and down payment.
Now that we know the difference, it should be clear specifically why a mortgage pre-approval is absolutely necessary. Here’s another article for a deeper dive into the differences between mortgage pre-qualification, and mortgage pre-approval. Let’s take a look at a few simple hacks that will help make the process move faster.]
Avoid the “slowdown”
What slows down the pre-approval process? For the most part, any delays are usually due to the time required for the customer to find the right documentation. The good news is, that’s a fairly easy problem to plan for and avoid. When looking for a home mortgage program, you will find that most of the document requirements and other necessities for pre-approval are the same. Generally speaking, the “slow down” in obtaining a mortgage pre-qualification occurs when a new buyer is caught off guard and needs to do a little leg work for the paperwork.
Make a checklist
It may be helpful for you to create, and complete a personal mortgage pre approval checklist. Ensure an easy, smooth, quick and painless mortgage pre-approval by already having the documents in hand. Here are a few items to include…
- Valid Picture ID, Passport, Driver’s Lic, State ID. Some people might call it to overkill but I like to come prepared. Not a bad idea to bring more than one form. I like to keep 2 valid forms of photo ID cards with me.
- W2 or 1099 tax returns and documents. The standard for home mortgages, most lenders require the past two tax returns to establish how much income you generated over previous years.
- Current Bank Statements. When seeking a mortgage pre-approval, be prepared to provide current bank records or statements of account. This may include checking, savings, money market, etc. The lending institution will want proof of financial history(deposit history etc.) They will be looking to make sure you have the ability to cover down payment, closing costs, etc.
- Pay Stubs. If you don’t already have a system for keeping track of your pay stubs, it may be a good time to start. While your regular receipt of pay may come electronically or attached to a physical paycheck, it’s still important to make sure you can provide official documentation. Best practices suggest providing physical documents and providing a digital copy as well.
- Your FICO credit score. If you don’t already know your credit score before you start the pre-approval process, it’s probably time to take a look. With a host of reputable online resources, you can start monitoring your credit right away. It’s important to act quickly to remedy any anomalies asap so it doesn’t interfere with approval. How long does it take to get a mortgage pre-approval? A heck of a lot longer if you have unresolved issues on your credit report.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t take very long at all to get a mortgage pre-approval. Digital documents can be uploaded securely and reviewed at the moment. At Sammamish Mortgage we’ve pleased to offer quick and painless pre-approval help for home purchases in Idaho, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State. As your mortgage lender, we are invested in your home buying journey. We combined over 25 years of award-winning experience with powerful technology to create an online platform to help you in your mortgage search. From rate watches to mortgage calculators, and informative blogs, we provide free access to some valuable insights and amazing tools online to help you prepare for your home purchase. Get answers to your mortgage pre-approval questions today, Contact us online or drop by for a visit with one of our friendly staff members.