Financing, Pre-Quals, and Approvals, Oh My!

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One of the most important and intimidating steps in your home buying process is getting a pre-qualification from a lender.  In this blog post I’m going to break down the pre-qualification process and help set you up for success when approaching this step in your home buying journey in Key West.

Let’s start by defining “pre-qualification”.

Pre-qualification is a letter from a bank that states the loan type (conventional, FHA, VA, etc.) and amount you have been approved to borrow based on the financial picture you provide to the lender.  It does NOT include an analysis of your credit report/ score.

This is how you see what your buying power is and is a crucial step in being successful in your real estate search.   Many people over and under estimate their buying power, which is a total time waster for everyone involved.  You don’t want to spend time looking at $500K houses when your purchasing power is $350K and vice versa.

Below are four simple steps to help you take the leap into getting pre-qualified.  Side note:  just do it already!

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  1. Make an appointment.  Reach out to your bank and ask to meet with a loan officer.   You can also ask your real estate agent for recommendations as well, they always have preferred contacts and suggestions if you don’t know where to start.
  2. Know your number(ish).  One misconception of the pre-qualification process is that you need to pull your credit report to be pre-qualified which is completely FALSE.  That’s right, many people think that you do but you don’t.  You should have an idea of what your credit score is though  to be sure your pre-qualification is as accurate as possible and I recommend using Credit Karma to find out.  Credit Karma is my go to app and website for credit checking and monitoring and it’s FREE!
  3. Get your sh*t together.  No for real, get it together… get a copy of your most recent tax return, a recent pay stub, and a couple of months of bank statements together.  The more information you can provide the more accurate your pre-qualification will be.
  4. Take your pre-qualification letter and give (or email) it to your real estate agent.

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Once you’ve given your agent your pre-qualification letter they will adjust your real estate search accordingly and you will be on your way to finding your dream home!

I am a full time buyers agent in Key West, Florida and am happy to help you in your real estate search.  Please contact me at 305-394-4073 or krystal@lastkeyrealty.com and let’s talk real estate!

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