Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is generally a good idea before you start looking for a real estate agent or viewing homes to buy.
Here are some reasons to start by getting pre-approved for the mortgage.
- Know your buying power: By getting pre-approved, you'll know how much you can borrow based on your financial situation. You'll have a good idea of what you can afford, and it will help you narrow your home search to properties that fit your budget.
- Save time: When you know what you can afford, you can avoid wasting time looking at homes outside your price range.
- Be taken seriously by sellers: Sellers are more likely to take you seriously when you're pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Negotiate better: You can make a more credible offer and negotiate a better price or other favorable terms.
- Close faster: With a verified mortgage pre-approval from NewCastle Home Loans, you can be ready to close in 15 days, half the time it takes other lenders.
Overall, getting pre-approved for a mortgage before looking for a real estate agent or viewing homes to buy can save you time, money, and stress and make the home-buying process smoother and more successful.
How far in advance do you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Finding the right home that meets your needs and preferences can take weeks or months. Starting early on your search gives you enough time to explore different neighborhoods, view multiple properties, and find the right home for you.
The best time to get pre-approved for a mortgage is between 1 and 4 months before buying a home. Here are some steps you need to complete after you get pre-approved and before you own a home.
- Find the right home: It can take time to find the right home that meets your needs and preferences. Give yourself enough time to explore different neighborhoods, view multiple properties, and find the right home for you.
- Negotiate the purchase: Once you find a home you want, negotiate the purchase price, contingencies, and other contract terms. An early start gives you time to negotiate and make an appealing offer.
- Get approved for the mortgage: The approval process takes several weeks with some lenders. Give the lender enough time to process the paperwork and approve your loan before closing.
- Close the deal: Even after loan approval, preparing for closing can take longer than expected for some lenders. Working with a local mortgage lender like NewCastle Home Loans helps you stay on track and close on time.
If you know what you're going to buy and are ready to make an offer, then you should give yourself 30 days to complete the remaining steps.
Unlike banks and online lenders, NewCastle Home Loans can have your home loan ready to close on time within 30 days. We typically approve and close mortgages in 15 days.
Overall, starting your home search one-to-four months before you want to close can help ensure that you find the right home, negotiate the purchase, secure mortgage approval, and close on time without surprises or delays.
How long does a mortgage pre-approval last?
You should start the pre-approval process less than four months before buying a house. Your mortgage pre-approval letter is good for four months from the date we check your credit report. After that, your credit expires, and so does your pre-approval letter.
During this time, it's essential to maintain a good credit score and avoid making any significant changes to your credit history. If your credit score changes significantly or you take on new debts, it could affect the terms of the mortgage pre-approval.
If you're still looking for a home to buy after your initial pre-approval letter expires, we'll update it. Updating the pre-approval is easy. First, we re-check your credit and re-verify your financial information. Then, you get a new pre-approval letter so that you can take advantage of every opportunity.