Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Most Valuable Step to Buying a Home - Are You Missing It?

One of the most neglected steps in purchasing a home is to get a pre-approval letter FIRST from your mortgage lender. This comes before house hunting, and even before finding your real estate agent. Why is getting pre-approved so important? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few reasons why you will want to have your pre-approval letter before ever stepping foot onto the first property.


Five Things You Need to Know About A Pre-approval

Get a Good Idea For What You Can Afford

Your dream is to buy a breathtaking vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks or maybe even your very first home - but your best bet is to start with your mortgage lender before ever day-dreaming about homes. A pre-approval can help determine how much you can afford, as well as what your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Lender will be able to lend you.

A pre-approval gives you the information you need to know about your financial situation and can make shopping for a home so much easier. When you know what you qualify for, it eliminates you finding a home you like and later discovering that it is not in your budget. It also cuts down on the time you and your realtor spend looking for homes in a price range you won’t qualify for.

Get the Upper Hand Against Other Buyers

Obviously, it’s probably more fun to start looking at homes instead of digging through your paperwork and submitting an application. However, keep in mind that pursuing a pre-approval first can help put you at an advantage when you do find the home of your dreams. If you have a pre-approval letter in hand while the other buyers do not, you may find yourself at a huge advantage, because the seller knows you are a serious buyer and have done your homework.

Pre-approval versus Pre-qualification?

These two steps are different, and important in their own ways. A pre-qualification will generally tell you much you qualify for, with a quick overview of your finances. This can be helpful but certainly isn’t concrete enough to agents or home sellers.

A Pre-approval relies on verified documentation and is reviewed by an underwriter to determine what you will qualify for based on your financial history and income. You will complete a mortgage application, have a hard credit check done, submit your income and asset documentation to your lender and they will completely underwrite the credit portion of your file to provide you with a true pre-approval. At that point, you will know that you are approved at a certain price point and can find the perfect property and close on it quicker.


Seek A Pre-Approval First!

The best time to get prepared for a home is after you’ve reviewed your credit reports and score to make sure everything is in top shape. A pre-approval is typically valid for 90 days, and it’s not a bad thing to get pre-approved more than once. So, when is the best time to get pre-approved? Before you start looking at houses… Even if you don’t plan to buy a home for another six months to a year, you can get your pre-qualification completed first, and it will give you time to clean up your credit report and build a solid down payment, if needed.

Ready to Buy Your Dream Home?

If you are ready to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to help. We are a highly experienced team of professionals, both with new mortgages, and second (or vacation) mortgages. Now is an excellent time to purchase a home, prices are looking great, and interest rates have been fairly steady. Even if you aren’t ready to buy your home for a couple of months, we can help you get prepared and ready to go!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 



Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065

Direct: (573) 746-7211





**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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