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5 YearFixed (promo)2.29%-*call for restrictions
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* Subject to change without notice *OAC *Some Underwriting Restrictions Apply
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5 YearFixed2.29%**restricted, call for details
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7 YearFixed2.99%
10 YearFixed3.54%

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Pre-Approval, Should you Apply for a Mortgage Before or After Finding a House?

February 19, 2015 | Posted by Nathan Zacharias | Tagged in

You’re ready to buy a house. You’re done with renting and have come up with enough savings to use for a down payment. However, you’re not sure if you should start looking for a home or first apply for a mortgage.

Hunting or Securing a Mortgage

Some people will tell you that securing property is the best way to begin, but that may not be the opportune scenario for most owners. So the question remains: should you apply for a mortgage before finding a house?

The answer is yes, and no.

Before finding a house, you should apply for a pre-approval. This is not an actual mortgage, but more of stamp-of-endorsement that says you have the potential to be a model mortgage candidate.

Getting pre-approved will set you in the right direction. Remember that a pre-approval will not expedite your chances of getting a mortgage quickly, but it will get the ball rolling. A pre-approval happens when your information has been submitted to a lender who then based on very basic information decides if you have the potential to be a good mortgage candidate and outlines the conditions upon which they would grant an approval

This doesn’t mean that you’re ready to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Nevertheless, most lenders will hold your pre-approval rate for 90-120 days. If the rates go up within the timeframe of your hold, you will still be entitled to the lower rate you were originally given.

Oftentimes, Realtors® require that you have a pre-approval in place before presenting you with an offer or even entering into a service agreement with them. To Realtors®, someone who is pre-approved is an attractive buyer. You will appear more serious to sellers, and in competitive bidding situations, pre-approvals can often be mandatory.

Pre-approvals are free and you are under no obligation to stay with the lender that pre-approved you. If you get pre-approved by your bank but decide pursue a mortgage with a differentlender, that will not be a problem.

Now that you have been pre-approved, it’s time to start looking for a home. Since a mortgage is a loan secured by real estate, you will need to find a property to purchase. Lenders will need information about your property before you can secure a mortgage. This will include the MLS® listing and in some cases an appraisal.

Armed with a pre-approval, a property you wish to purchase and the necessary documentation, you should have no trouble receiving a mortgage.