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How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

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Before you begin your new home search, talk to a lender about getting preapproved for a mortgage. This important step can save you time in negotiations and keep your search on target and within budget. What exactly is a preapproval and how do you get one?

A preapproval is different than a prequalification because it is more thorough. A prequalification can serve a similar process but because the lender does not pull your credit to provide a prequalification, the actual amount might end up being off from your final approval amount, especially if your credit is low. If you are just casually looking, a prequalification letter may be all that you want to do right now. But if you have serious plans to make an offer and purchase a home at the end of your search, going through the additional steps to get a preapproval letter can make the entire process smoother.

To get a preapproval, start by finding a reputable lender that you want to work with to purchase your home. This can be a bank, credit union, or private lender. Ask friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family for recommendations. Once you have someone that you want to work with, ask them what they need from you to provide a preapproval. Expect to give them the following information:

  • An application
  • Authorization to pull your credit
  • Supporting financial documents, such as pay stubs or W-2s
  • Information about outstanding debts, such as student loans, car loans, or credit card debt

Once you have a preapproval letter, you can talk to a Realtor or real estate agent about your budget and they can show you homes that meet your criteria within that budget. Having a preapproval letter ensures that the homes you consider are within the loan parameters that your mortgage company will approve. It also shows sellers that you are ready to move forward with the purchase when you submit an offer. Including your preapproval letter with your offer may even sway the seller in your favor if they have multiple comparable offers or are in a bidding war.

Once you have an accepted offer to purchase a home, you will need to begin the actual application process and be approved for the home loan. Your lender will look at the appraised value of the home, the condition (some lenders require that the home meet certain habitability standards), and a more in-depth evaluation of your financial situation.

Author Bio: Greg Sandler
Greg Sandler is a distinguished leader and strategist in the mortgage and real estate investment industry. With over two decades of experience, Greg has honed his expertise in guiding his clients to build wealth through real estate.

Greg Sandler has direct and first-hand experience as co-founder and CEO of USA Investment Group Management Inc., focusing on growing real estate holdings and diversified asset portfolios. Under Greg's guidance, the company has executed hundreds of traditional real estate acquisitions and currently manages a substantial portfolio of rental units.

Greg also has a track record of driving multi-million-dollar revenues and leading high-performing teams to success in mortgage loan originations, achieving the prestigious "Top 1% Originator" status in consecutive years. Currently steering the helm as the President at USALending.AI in Keller, TX, Greg has revitalized this division of a mortgage bank, significantly expanding the company's scale.

Prior to this, Greg's role as Senior Vice President at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp in Rocklin, CA, was marked by his pivotal contribution in establishing the company's presence in northern California and northern Nevada. Under Greg's leadership, his team of nearly 110 dedicated mortgage professionals originated and funded approximately $800 million in residential mortgages annually.

Greg's professional journey is marked by his exceptional skills in negotiation, sales leadership, financial analysis, and P&L management. His ability to strategize, coupled with his in-depth knowledge of the mortgage and real estate sectors, makes him a visionary leader and a respected figure in the industry.

To book a call with Greg Sandler, please visit:

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