Get a prequalification or preapproval letter
A prequalification or preapproval letter is a document from a lender stating that the lender is tentatively willing to lend to you, up to a certain loan amount.
This document is based on certain assumptions and it is not a guaranteed loan offer. But, it lets the seller know that you are likely to be able to get financing. Sellers frequently require a prequalification or preapproval letter before accepting your offer on a house.
Decide when to get a preapproval letter
Lenders typically check your credit before issuing a preapproval letter, and the letter may have an expiration date on it (typically 30 to 60 days). For these reasons, many people wait to get a preapproval letter until they are ready to begin shopping seriously for a home. However, getting preapproved early in the process can be a good way to spot potential issues in time to correct them.
Find out what the lender’s preapproval process is
Every lender is different. Find out what you need to do and what documentation is requested.
Request a preapproval
Follow up with the lender and provide the necessary information.
Ask the lender what assumptions they made to issue the preapproval. Is there anything about your situation that could lead to your loan being denied later on, or that could increase your interest rate or loan costs?
Pre-Approval is a Critical First Step on Your Homebuying Journey
What Is Pre-Approval?
To better understand why pre-approval is key, it’s important to know what pre-approval is. The Mortgage Reports explains it like this:
“When you’re ready to take the leap into homeownership, your first step is mortgage preapproval. . . . A mortgage preapproval is when a lender determines you’re qualified for a home loan. Your preapproval letter shows the maximum loan amount you’re approved for (your home buying budget), as well as the specific interest rate and loan term you can expect.”
As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand your true price range and how much money you can borrow. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes because you’ll know your overall numbers. And with mortgage rates rising and impacting affordability, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.
Pre-Approval Can Signal You’re a Serious Buyer
Another added benefit is that pre-approval lets the seller know you’re qualified to buy their house. A recent article from realtor.com notes:
“. . . getting pre-approved can actually improve your chances of falling into the sellers’ good graces, and you’ll want to get it done as early as you possibly can in the home-buying process.”
How to get pre-approved for a mortgage
Applying for preapproval for a mortgage is a straightforward process that requires some paperwork and, in many cases, just a few days for the lender to verify your personal and financial information. Each lender’s process is different, but they’ll generally review your credit history, income, assets and debts before deciding to grant a preapproval and, if so, for what amount.
Gather the appropriate documents
Lenders will want to verify your identity, credit history, employment history, income and financial assets to issue a preapproval. They’ll likely ask you to fill out a uniform residential loan application (almost everyone calls it a 1003 or “ten-oh-three” — here’s an example).
The 1003 application asks for your personal information, financial information and loan information, including:
- Bank accounts, retirement and other accounts
- Any other assets you have
- Property you own
- Income and employment details
- Employer contact information
- Debts you owe or other liabilities
Your lender will also likely do a hard credit check, and may require additional documents based on your individual situation, such as pay stubs, tax returns or bank statements.
Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®
JUST SOLD – 1536 Michigan St. Fairfield
3 bed/2 bath/1,260sqft/4,792sqft lot
This is a great starter or retirement home, close to shopping, Hwy 80 & Amtrack & perfect home for a commuter. This 3 bedroom & 2 bath home has new interior paint, carpets, laminate flooring, light fixtures, dual pane windows, tankless water heater & newer roof & air condenser. The master bath has new vanity & flooring. The kitchen has new flooring, appliances, a stainless sink, painted cabinets, & resurfaced countertops. The home has a large family room, perfect for entertaining. The patio is the length of the home. Although 1 car garage, the home has a carport for at least 2 cars & RV parking on the side. Larger lot & drought resistant front yard & shed. Just bring your furniture, the home is move-in ready. READ MORE
OPEN HOUSE – Sunday 1:30pm -3pm
FOR SALE – 295 Sage Meadows Drio Vista
OPEN HOUSE – Saturday 11am – 2pm
FOR SALE – 718 Allender Wy. Rio Vista
3 bd/2 bth/1346sf
FOR SALE – 731 Turnberry Ter Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1410 sqft
$410,000 – NO BONDS-Spinnaker model with private backyard. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath home feels like a very relaxing cottage for a retirement home. The patio provides a quiet place for morning coffee & afternoon beverage. Den has built-in book/curio shelves & bay window. The Master bedroom has a bay window, which creates room for a sitting area. New hot water heater. Enjoy amenities such as golf, tennis, bocce, pools/spas & a new gym, and more. READ MORE
FOR SALE – 710 Pinehurst Dr. Rio Vista
$454,000 – Solar owned & No Bonds!! Can’t get much better, this Hatteras model located in the Rio Vista Active Adult Community, Trilogy, offers drought-resistant landscaping & cozy backyard. Start the day with coffee on the patio & watch the sunset on the front porch. This home has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths with blinds throughout. The home has a living room/dining room combo and a family room/kitchen with tile floors in the kitchen/nook. Full patio with cover & is very private. The laundry room has a sink, washer/dryer convey with the sale, as well as refrigerators. Walking distance to Delta clubhouse, pro shop & Monarch Restaurant. Trilogy offers 2 swimming pools/spas, a cafe & restaurant, tennis courts, bocce ball courts, pickle ball, billiards & more. Just bring your furniture and enjoy your retirement life. READ MORE
NEW PRICE – 689 Waterwood Dr, Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,837sqft/5,436sqft lot
NEW PRICE $570,000 – Breathtaking views as you step into this beautiful home, located on the 11th green & pond. Popular Reflect model with quartz counters, white cabinets, 5 burner gas stove top & refrigerator are included. Tile floors with carpet in bedrooms. A double-sided gas fireplace makes for a cozy den & living room. The primary bath has double sinks with a walk-in shower with w/bench seating. Shutters throughout the home. Walk out either slider onto the covered patio that is the full length of the home. Small piece of turf for your pet, low maintenance landscape (front & back) & fenced. The backyard is lovely & a great place for a BBQ. Washer/dryer are included & there’s a laundry tub in the garage. Prepaid solar lease, transferrable to the buyer for the remaining years of the lease. Just bring your furniture and enjoy all the amenities, such as 2 swimming pools/spas, bocce ball courts, tennis & pickle ball courts, horseshoes, billiards, a library, a computer room, etc. So many activities to enjoy, you can be as busy as you want or idle. There is a club for just about all your hobbies. READ MORE
FOR SALE – 181 Cedar Ridge Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,433sqft
NEW PRICE – 623 California St, Rio Vista
2 bed/1 bath/934sqft/4,792sqft lot
Price Reduced to $395,500 – Adorable cottage/bungalow, 2 bedroom, 1 bath and has been updated. Larger backyard with patio & raised garden beds for your vegetables. The kitchen has been remodeled & there is an inside laundry & single car garage. Convenient location, walk to town for breakfast, snack, and/or dinner. READ MORE
Events in Northern California this Weekend
The Lodi Fall Home Improvement Show
Fri, Jan 20, 12 PM – Sun, Jan 22, 5 PM
Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, 413 E Lockeford St, Lodi, CA
Updating and improving your home is easy when you visit the Lodi Home Improvement Show! Get show specials and all your questions answered by local experts. The best prices on Kitchen & Bathrooms, Windows & Doors, Gutters & Roofing, HVAC & Solar, Painting & Coating, Flooring, Pool & Spas, Pavers & Turf, Outdoor kitchens, cash & carry items and much much more!!
Get 50% off when you buy through eventbrite!
General Admission $8 Senior or Veteran $6 Kids under 18 Free
12-5 Friday Jan. 20, 10-5 Saturday Jan. 21, 10-5 Sunday Jan. 22
Sacramento Wedding Festival
Sat. Jan 22, 23 | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel1230 J St; Sacramento, CA
The moment you’ve been dreaming of is here – it’s time to plan your special day! Make the most out of planning with a visit to the wedding expo and bring along your favorite people. Whether it be Team Bride, Groom or Wedding Warriors by your side, every minute will be filled exciting moments as you get ideas from professionals in all fields such as florists, photographers and entertainment vendors.
Get creative with making memories that last forever; don’t stress over details since there’s plenty at the show for everyone involved!
Wait until you see what we have planned at this amazing venue!
Wedding Professionals | Fashion Shows | Demos | Prizes & FUN! READ MORE
The Sacramento Horror Film Festival – 16th Edition
Sat, Jan 21, 1 – 11 PM
The Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA
Celebrate 16 years of independent horror in Sacramento! Saturday, January 21st, 2023, witness a carefully curated assortment of short films from across the globe as well as an array of horror inspired performances by the area’s finest performance artists. Your festival pass gets you access to a full day of horror. Hosted by Bloody Bethy, The 16th Edition of the Sacramento Horror Film Festival also features a special program, The 9th Annual Love Horror Short Film Festival. Purchase your pass in advance and save on an increased fee at the door. Note: Some films are of an offensive, triggering, and graphic nature. Viewer and Parental discretion is highly advised. Event is expected to run from 1PM to 11PM. Produced by Love Horror Events. READ MORE
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Stockton Civic Theatre
Jan 19 – Feb 5
Stockton Civic Theatre, 2312 Rose Marie Ln, Stockton, CA
Jenna Zepponi Lehman plays Maggie the Cat in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, coming to the SCT Main Stage January 19-February 5, 2023.
A classic drama set in the lavish southern home of Pollitt family patriarch “Big Daddy” on the occasion of his 65th birthday, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play is the story of a family imploding under the stress of dark secrets, lies, and yearning for acceptance, love, and the truth. The personal favorite of author Tennessee Williams’ plays, this production will have you feeling the heat of summer even during the winter months.
Tickets are available now by calling the Box Office at (209)473-2424 or visit www.sctlivetheatre.com