How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

"How-To" Series

It’s a common misconception that the first step to buying a new home is searching for your ideal community or choosing the perfect floorplan to meet all of your needs, but it’s not! The first step on your journey to new home ownership is knowing your budget and what you can afford. Before you even start saving home design pictures on Pinterest or falling in love with a beautiful new community, you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

What is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is an evaluation of your current, overall financial position. It tells you and your sales team how much money a lender is willing to grant you to purchase your new home. It’s important to keep in mind this number can change from when you get pre-approval to when you purchase your home. For example, it can increase if you have a co-signer or if your financial position improves over this time.

Why Do I Need to Get Pre-Approved?

It’s important to understand your current financial position so you can make educated buying choices when it comes to your new home. The worst feeling is falling in love with a home and later finding out it is out of your budget. Knowing your pre-approved mortgage amount will help you and the sales team focus on homes that are within your price range.

Who Can I Work with to Get Pre-Approval?

There are many channels you can use to get pre-approved for a mortgage including, but not limited to:

  1. Ownest Financial - At Excel Homes, we have partnered with Ownest Financial, a virtual mortgage brokerage that can help you start the process and determine how much you qualify for with a few easy questions. Through their app, they will search through multiple lenders to find the best fit for you, all from the comfort of your home!
  2. Mortgage Brokers – They will be your middleman; the line of communication between the lender and yourself. A mortgage broker is responsible for gathering the best rates, from multiple lenders, giving you lots of options to choose from.
  3. Your Banking Institution – Banking institutions offer preferred mortgage rates to their current clients. However, it is important to keep in mind that they will only be able to offer you their rates and you will not have the ability to compare with other options.

How Do I Get Started?

All of the above sources need a few things to calculate your total debt ratio in order to start the process of a mortgage pre-approval. Some of these documents include:

  • Photo ID
  • Employment Verification
  • Credit Score
  • Proof of Assets & Debt
  • Proof of Income
  • Personal Verification

We can all agree that location, size and style are crucial when building a new home; but the most important factor is your budget. Hopefully, you found this information helpful and now have more confidence about the mortgage pre-approval process and why it’s an important first step in the home buying process.