Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

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Real Estate

Wondering if now is a good time to buy? 

While it can seem like the rising median home prices are daunting, historically low interest rates have provided a path to ownership.  In the early 1980's it took 36% of a median family income to pay the mortgage on a their home, according to the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS the average number is a much more manageable 16.4%.  Whether you are casually looking or ready to buy being prepared can be the key to presenting a strong offer.  Here are some key things to consider:

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

One sure way to reduce stress during the process of home buying is to seek pre-approval. Buyers who are pre-approved are taken more seriously than their pre-qualified counterparts.

Pre-qualification is not a loan commitment from a lending institution; it is only a loan agent’s opinion that you will be able to obtain financing. Virtually anyone can achieve pre-qualification status. Pre-approval, on the other hand, signifies that the application has been taken through a rigorous procedure. Pre-approved buyers enjoy these benefits:

1. If you make an offer on a home and then apply for a loan, you are at the lender’s mercy. He sets the interest rate and points, aware that you do not have time to shop around.

2. Pre-approval saves time spent looking at houses you can’t afford.

3. If you rely on your lender to tell you what you can afford, you may end up with a high mortgage payment. Most people can qualify for more than they feel comfortable paying.

4. Having a pre-approval letter from a lender gives you an edge when multiple offers have been made on a house.

5. Pre-approved buyers can generally close escrow more quickly. Once you submit your credit package, most of the legwork has already been done.

New Hampshire Housing works with lenders to offer a variety of options to new home buyers, click here to find out more about those programs.  

We're here to help you evaluate the house you want against the current market to make sure you get the right house at the best price with the least hassle.  Call us today to discuss how to navigate the homebuying process in today's market.