This 1 Easy Step Can Reduce the Stress of Home-Buying

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on June 18, 2021

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Don't start shopping for a home until you've checked it off your list.

Buying a house can be fun, but it's also stressful.

After all, you need to make sure you find the right property at a good price and that you can qualify for a reasonable mortgage loan to pay for it.

To make this process much easier for yourself and reduce the stress and complexity of your home purchase, there's one simple move you should make early in the process: make certain that you get a mortgage pre-approval before you start visiting properties. Keep reading to see why.

The mortgage pre-approval process

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage involves shopping around for different mortgage lenders, choosing the one that offers you the best rate and terms, and submitting a pre-approval application. You'll need to include detailed financial credentials when you apply for pre-approval, including information about your credit history and income.

Lenders will review all of your information and decide how much money to lend to you and what rate you'll pay. You can then get a pre-approval letter indicating the amount you're approved to borrow. And you can often lock in the interest rate you were offered for a period of time, so you'll know up front exactly what your loan will look like.

While a pre-approval isn't an ironclad guarantee that you will absolutely get your loan, it does mean that as long as your house fits the lender's criteria and your finances don't change, you should be able to move forward with borrowing as planned.

How does getting pre-approved reduce the stress of home-buying?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage reduces the worry associated with home buying for a few key reasons:

  • You won't have to worry about whether you can afford a property: If you get pre-approved, you'll know exactly how much house you can afford, and you'll know what your mortgage will cost. That way, you can make sure you're comfortable fitting the monthly payments into your budget.
  • You won't waste time looking at properties out of your price range: It's stressful to fall in love with a house you can't afford. If you get pre-approved up front, this won't be an issue, because you'll be able to restrict your property search only to homes you can actually afford to buy.
  • You stand a better chance of getting an offer accepted: It's especially upsetting for home buyers if they make an offer and the seller rejects it. You can reduce the chances of this happening by including a pre-approval letter with your offer. Many sellers want to know you're pre-approved to borrow for the home so they can feel confident that you'll actually have money to buy the house.

The bottom line is, if you're borrowing to buy a home -- as most people do -- you're going to need to go through the mortgage approval process at some point. If you decide now is a good time to buy a home, check this task off your list up front so the rest of the process can be more focused on the fun aspects of finding your perfect home.

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