Pre-qualified or pre-approved… when it comes to home-buying, what’s the difference?

Pre-qualified or pre-approved… when it comes to home-buying, what’s the difference?

A mistake some first time home buyers make is to start looking for a home before they know how much they can realistically afford, only to be disappointed that the beautiful $250,000 house they fell in love with during an Open House is way out of their price range. Do some homework to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

This is a pretty straight forward process. Contact your lender, (online, phone or in person) share information on your financial picture, and the loan officer can then give you an idea of how much of a home you can afford. This dollar amount is based solely on the information you provide. No credit report is checked at this time. (After you talk with a Fox lender, you can go to to fill out an online application to keep the loan process moving forward.)

Getting pre-approved is required by many Realtors prior to showing you homes. Set up an appointment with a mortgage officer, then get busy and gather all of your important documents, and bring them to your appointment.

  • One month of most recent pay stubs
  • Last two years of W-2’s
  • Two months of checking and savings statements (all pages)
  • Most recent investment statements (all pages-including retirement accounts)
  • Driver’s license
  • Marital Settlement Agreement and Final Stipulation (if applicable-all pages)
  • Bankruptcy discharge documents (if applicable-all pages)

After reviewing all of your documents, the lender can accurately determine your maximum purchase price, and determine the correct loan product. If requested, they can give you a letter verifying your maximum purchase price. This letter can strengthen your position with a seller when you write up your Offer to Purchase.

Doing a little bit of homework can help keep you on track to find the home and the loan that’s just right for you!