Mortgage Pre-qualification and Pre-approval
PRE-QUALIFICATION - This is an easy first step to show sellers you’re getting serious about buying. In order to get a mortgage pre-qualification letter, a loan officer will make a general assessment of your financial situation. They’ll be able to gauge whether or not you can get a loan and how much money you can get. PRE-APPROVAL - Once you’ve gotten a better idea of your financial picture, you need to get pre-approved. It’s important to time your pre-approval with when you’re ready to buy because a pre-approval letter expires in 60 to 90 days. Pre-approval is a conditional promise from a bank or lender that they are willing to lend to you, and for what amount.
Points, APRs, and Other Homebuyer Fees
WHAT ARE POINTS? Points are fees your lender charges, usually 1 or 2 percent of the total loan amount. It's important to factor in points when shopping for mortgages as a loan with a higher interest rate and no points could ultimately be cheaper than a lower interest rate with points. It’s also possible to negotiate that the seller pays points.