Collins Community Credit Union

Adventures in House Hunting - Chapter 2: Pre-Approval

Published on Mar 10, 2016

Well, we’re officially pre-approved to buy a house! We’re super excited to start the house hunt, and a little anxious, too; but, getting pre-approved helped calm some of those nerves.

Why get pre-approved you ask?  Getting pre-approved helps you determine your budget because the credit union is able to tell you how much they can loan you. The pre-approval process was pretty painless. We brought our driver’s licenses, W-2 forms, a full year’s worth of bank statements, pay stubs from our employers and our retirement account statements. Then, inputting our information, our loan officer, Devin, told us how much we could borrow from the credit union. He also broke it down for us explaining how much our monthly mortgage payments would be at our pre-approved loan amount.

Our meeting with Devin only took about 30 minutes since we had all of the paperwork with us. The pre-approval process usually only takes 24-48 hours after the initial meeting, so we were able to look at houses right away the following weekend.

We feel that knowing how much we can afford up front will be a huge time saver for us and our realtor. Plus, we will have a leg up on other buyers once we find a house we’re ready to make an offer on.

Here’s a list of questions we asked Devin at our appointment:

  • How long is our pre-approval letter good for?
  • What type of mortgage do you think would be best for our lifestyle?
  • What are the total costs of the mortgage (private mortgage insurance, taxes, home insurance, etc.)?
  • How long will it take to process our loan application once a home offer is accepted?
  • What is the best way to get in contact with you when questions come up?
  • What are the next steps and what can we do in the meantime?
  • Is there anything we shouldn’t do before our loan closes?

The last question is really important. At this point, we’ve only been pre-approved and the loan hasn’t actually been funded. The credit union will double check all of your information before your loan is fully approved. Devin recommended avoiding big purchases, opening new credit cards, or taking out another loan if you’re looking to close on a home. We’re excited to start house hunting, we’ll keep you updated!

-Kyle and Kylene

Check out this video to help you prepare for the mortgage application process.

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