One of the services we offer to people who are thinking about buying a home in Austin is a referral to a good lender who can give them a pre-qualification for free.
In fact, we go so far as to insist that our clients have a pre-approval letter on file before we go out and look at homes in Austin together. Why?
Why Get Pre-Qualified?
Pre-qualification acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford.
Because the "pre-qual" allows you to know how much mortgage you can afford, it allows us to focus your Austin home search on properties in your price range instead of running the risk you might fall in love with something you can't afford.
While a "pre-qual" is non-binding to the lender (because the information you provide has not been verified), it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness.
These days most sellers will NOT accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.