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Pre-Approval Letters Are Like the Tooth Fairy

Mark Greene, contributor to Forbes Magazine, says a Pre-Approval letter for a home buyer is pretty much a fairy tale. Greene states while it is a necessary stop in the process to purchasing a home, it is essentially a work of fiction.

Why, you ask? Well, simply put, a pre-approval letter only lets a real estate agent or seller know that the potential home buyer has meet with a loan officer to determine if they meet the minimum guidelines to qualify for a mortgage. So then, why bother? Should the pre-approval letter find the same fate as dinosaurs and become extinct?

The answer is a resounding no. A well versed mortgage professional and real estate agent should educate each potential home buyer with whom they meet. First and foremost, a home buyer should have a true handle on their financial situation. The meeting with a loan officer should happen before viewing homes with a real estate agent. Providing recent bank statements, two years’ worth of the following are essential, including W-2s, tax returns, employment history and housing information. Without having actual figures to analyze, a loan officer will not have a true idea of what a buyer can afford.

Back in the rush to sell real estate at the end of the 2000s, these steps were decidedly rushed. Realtors were out to sell and loan officers wanted the referrals from real estate agents to pad their wallets. If the pre-approval process today ever fell back to these, “line ‘em up, fill ‘em out, write an offer now” ways, decidedly, the prequalification process would be pointless. With the tight underwriting guidelines today, only the most scrutinized files are approved.

Finding a loan professional that puts you through all the paces is the best way to be the most competitive buyer you can be. With so many first time buyer incentives available, and FHA loan programs offering low down payment with rates at 3.5% and less, now is the time to buy.    To see how low your home payment can be, contact me at pwoods@mychartermtg.com today.

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Find fha mortgage rates with 0 points, 0 Lender fees. No one has lower FHA mortgage loan fees at same rate/same loan program.  Call an FHA lender today for a personalized FHA loan quote.