Should you get pre-approved before shopping for a home?

Mortgage and Lending with Willow Bend Mortgage NMLS# 181033
That's a great question! Getting pre-approved by a lender should be one of the first steps you take when looking for your next home.

If you're thinking to yourself, "My credit is good enough" or "I've purchased a house before, I"ll be ok" ...THINK AGAIN!  Things in the mortgage world have changed dramatically in the past 12-18 months and a good credit score doesn't guarantee you an approval anymore.

Underwriting is more intense now, and regardless of your FICO score, everything is put under the microscope:  Your credit, employment history, asset documentation, and tax returns (just to name a few) are looked at line-by-line.

That's why it's important to talk with a knowledgeable lender who knows what to look for when taking an application and reviewing your documents.  Yes, your FICO score is one of the first major hurdles you now have to jump over, but it's just the beginning of the race to the finish line.  An experienced lender will be able to walk you through the entire loan process so you don't have any major surprises that come up along the way that become a road block to you getting your home. 

Here are the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage:
  1. Call and set an appointment with your lender.  Many times they can take some preliminary information right over the phone.  If you're applying for a mortgage in the state of Alabama, I'd love to assist you as well.  You can apply online by going to
  2. Gather the required documentation needed for your application.  You'll need the following:
    1. Most recent paystub(s) covering the last 30 days
    2. Last 2 month's bank statements for all assets you wish to be considered in your application
    3. Last 2 year's federal tax returns (all schedules, including W2's)
    4. Copy of your driver's license and social security cards
If you're interested in knowing your true FICO score applying, I recommend and I've set up a direct link through my website to take you through to a free trial they're offering.  I personally use their services myself.  Just go to link)

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Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Brandon, great input for the person considering the purchase of a home.

Jan 09, 2011 07:54 AM #1
Brandon Snider
Willow Bend Mortgage - Cullman, AL
Your Lender for Life

Thank you Dan.

Jan 09, 2011 12:40 PM #2
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Brandon Snider

Your Lender for Life

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