Become a Preferred Buyer
When you begin house-hunting in Lodi and Stockton, CA areas, it will help you narrow down the homes that you consider if you know how much you can afford to pay. You can do that by getting pre-qualified, or you can take the process one step further by getting pre-approved.
Many people get confused by these terms and think they mean the same thing, when actually they are quite different. Being pre-qualified doesn't mean that you have a commitment from a lender; it's merely an indication of how much home you can afford. The pre-approval process, on the other hand, is more in depth. Being pre-qualified means a lender has evaluated your income, monthly debt, employment and available down payment to determine the best loan for you and the amount for which you would likely qualify.
When you are pre-approved, you actually have a lender's written commitment to grant a loan once certain conditions have been met. For example, you will have to obtain a purchase contract to receive the money, as well as a satisfactory appraisal and a clear title report.
You can get pre-approved even before you begin the house-hunting process. In some cases, the mortgage broker will honor the commitment for up to three months.
Sellers will likely view you as a preferred buyer if you are pre-approved because they won't have to wonder if you will be able to obtain financing. If a seller receives an offer from you with pre-approval and one from a buyer who does not have financing, your offer is likely to get stronger consideration.
Call me if you have more questions. I would be happy to clarify the home buying and selling process and help with all any of your real estate needs.