Your first real challenge as a prospective homeowner will be getting pre-approved for a mortgage. So, what does this mean, and why should you do it before launching into your search in earnest?
Many real estate sellers will ask to see a letter of pre-approval (not pre-qualification) from aspiring buyers. To get a letter of mortgage pre-approval, you’ll have to show valid documentation proving your assets and income, verification of employment, and a good credit score, among other things. The official letter proves definitively that you’re able to obtain financing, which makes sellers much more willing to negotiate the price with you.
For more information about the pre-approval process, read our financing guide.