Why You Should Get Pre-Qualified Today

You’re looking for the home of your dreams, but are you looking in the right price range?

It’s not always a question you can answer yourself, but that’s where getting pre-qualified or pre-approved comes in. Getting pre-qualified is the first step in the home buying process, and if you haven’t done it yet, here’s what you need to know.

Pre-qualified vs. Pre-approved

Both are smart choices and are highly recommended. While pre-qualification is based solely on the details and information you provide, pre-approval is a more involved process. With pre-approval, a lender will do an in-depth analysis of your finances to determine a precise loan amount for which you’re eligible. Having a letter of pre-approval is ideal, but pre-qualification is often the simpler, more time efficient and popular option among homebuyers who are just getting started.

What Does it Mean to be Pre-Qualified?

We all want the best money can buy. And, while there’s nothing wrong with setting your sights high, you want to ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. When buying your first home – or even your second or third – the key to a smooth buying process is to be realistic, prepared and empowered.

The main purpose of the pre-qualification process is to determine how much you can afford so you get the most for your money without overextending yourself. Think of it as an estimation of your borrowing power. Luckily, the process can be done in a 15 minute phone call or even online.

All pre-qualification estimates are based on the details you report, so providing accurate and truthful information is vital to getting a realistic pre-qualification estimate. Once you’ve decided to get pre-qualified, the process is as easy as 1-2-3.

1) Call or complete an online application on your mortgage lender’s website and authorize a copy of your credit report to be obtained if required by your lender.

2) If necessary, provide the lender any supporting income and asset documents such as paycheck stubs, W-2s and federal tax returns.

3) Meet with a lender to discuss your pre-qualification status and secure a letter from your lender stating that you’ve been pre-qualified as a specific home price or mortgage amount.

Follow these three simple steps to become an informed buyer and get one step closer to finding the home of your dreams.

5 Benefits of Getting Pre-Qualified

Still on the fence of whether to get pre-qualified? Take a look at these other benefits.

  1. It saves you time. Between filing paperwork, submitting forms and gathering documentation, getting a loan can be a long, tedious process – even for the most well-organized individuals. However, knowing if you can qualify ahead of time will save you time and headaches.
  2. Getting pre-qualified can help uncover and address potential credit issues. When you enter the home buying process, the last things you’ll want are surprises. Fortunately, when you get pre-qualified, your lender can run your credit report in advance. This gives you ample time to address any inconsistencies or issues that may arise — even if they’re not your fault.
  3. It helps refine and define your home search. You may not want to fall in love with a home that’s out of your price range. Pre-qualification can ease the uncertainty of home shopping and narrow your search so you can spend more time evaluating the homes you can afford to purchase.
  4. It empowers you without obligation. Knowledge is power, and that’s precisely what getting pre-qualified offers. You’ll know your most up-to-date credit and financial information, and you’ll also have a full understanding of your buying power. The best part? Getting pre-qualified with a specific lender does not mean you are obligated to work with him or her on your mortgage. It just provides you that choice.
  5. You have time to shop for the best mortgage. In today’s real estate market, you’re going to have to act quickly when you find the home you want. At that point, you may not have the luxury of comparison shopping for the best mortgage. However, if you get pre-qualified, you can start your research early and make a thoughtful decision.

Let the Home Shopping Begin!

Are you convinced? Once you get prequalified, the fun part begins. It’s time to start shopping, and you’ve got plenty to choose from at Rancho Mission Viejo. In fact, the “Village of Sendero was named U.S. Community of the Year by the National Association of Homebuilders.”

Exclusive in the breadth of features it has to offer, the Village of Sendero is inclusive in the warm, friendly ambiance it provides. Ten neighborhoods offer a wide selection of one-bedroom plus lofts to four-bedroom townhomes, casitas and bungalows ranging from 1,006 to 1,791 square feet, as well as three- or four-bedroom single -family detached homes ranging from 1,803 – 2,996 square feet. Plus, all are constructed by an impressive stable of some of the finest home builders in the nation with homes priced from the high $300,000s to under $1 million. Whether you’re a new couple just starting out, need a larger place to accommodate your growing family or are 55+, Rancho Mission Viejo’s combination of innovative homes, exceptional lifestyle and history-rich legacy just can’t be beat.

Start your home shopping journey at The Ranch!

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