One of the first things you should take care of when you want to buy a home is your financing. For one thing, you look much stronger to sellers if you already have your financing in place when you make an offer. In fact, some agents insist you have a pre-approval letter to present with your offer. Also, it can take a little while to go through the whole pre-approval process. Learn how you can seal your Tucson home mortgage pre-approval before you even start looking at houses.
How to Seal Your Tucson Home Mortgage Pre-Approval
Tucson Home Buyers: Pre-Qualified vs Pre-Approved
Before the real estate market crash of the mid-2000's, all you really needed to start off your Tucson home search was a pre-qualification from a lender. This takes a short amount of time. The lender asks for your income, total debt load, and down payment amount. Then, they take this information and determine the maximum amount you would qualify for in a mortgage loan. This pre-qualification is based solely on the information you provide verbally. They don't verify anything.
On the other hand, a Tucson home mortgage pre-approval requires you to provide documentation of your income, assets, down payment funds, and debt. Then, the lender pulls your credit and verifies the validity of the information you provide as well as employment status. All of this takes a few weeks to complete. At the end, you'll know whether or not you are actually approved for a mortgage loan. Having a concrete amount approved ahead of time helps you determine how much you're willing to spend on your new Tucson home. Remember, just because you were approved for a higher dollar amount doesn't mean you necessarily need to spend that much. Stay within a comfortable budget so that you don't compromise your lifestyle.
Perform a Credit Check on Yourself
The first thing you must do to seal your Tucson home mortgage pre-approval is to pull your credit report. Lenders want to see a good FICO score. You'd be surprised at how often erroneous information can be found on credit reports. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain a free report from each of the three reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Scour each report in search of errors. If you find any, report them to the appropriate agency. Each agency offers their own rules for reporting erroneous information. Simply visit their corresponding website to find out how to go about reporting an error. To obtain a loan with a great interest rate, you need to have a great FICO score. So, it pays to put in the effort to improve your credit score wherever possible.
Gather Necessary Paperwork
When applying for your Tucson home mortgage pre-approval, you must provide some necessary financial paperwork. So, it's important to gather this paperwork in one central location to make the loan process run a bit smoother. For example, you'll need your most recent income tax return. Banks need to see two to four weeks of paycheck stubs. If you're self-employed, they'll want to see a profit and loss statement. Also, get a copy of your last two months' bank statements as well as any investments or other assets you may own. Don't transfer big sums of money into or out of your accounts either. This throws up a red flag for mortgage companies. They want to see a solid, steady, easily-traceable income trail.
Increase Your Down Payment
Finally, if at all possible, pour more money into your down payment savings. Even if you currently have 20% of a home's purchase price saved for your down payment, raise it to 25% or more. It never hurts to show that you have a nice amount of money set aside for your Tucson home purchase. This shows banks that you are financially sound and serious about buying a home. You may not end up using all of your savings for your down payment in the end. But, it's always good to have some cushion to allow for unforeseen expenses that may arise once you actually move into your home.
Use these tips to seal your Tucson home mortgage pre-approval. Then, when you're ready to start looking for your next Tucson home, contact me. I'd be happy to help you find what you're looking for.
Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate