Buyers, Get Pre-Approved NOW! So you can pursue your dream.

Real Estate Agent with Realty World Lake Tahoe CalBRE#01968744

Milkyway Over Lake Tahoe

"Milkyway Over Lake Tahoe"  -  You can make the dream come true!

As a realtor, my first conversation with a prospective buyer is a mutual question and answer session. Obviously, the buyer will share what they are looking for: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, location, etc. and conclude with the price range in which they expect to look. We share back and forth, as I need to know very specific details about their priorities and perhaps why certain things are, or aren't, important. As we gain focus and direction, there is one task the buyer must complete before a search can begin in earnest. They must get pre-approved for a loan.

A loan pre-approval puts a buyer, and their realtor, on the right track. There are many factors involved in a lender's decision making process, and when it comes down to it, they are in charge. They want to loan you money. That is how they make their income. However, they are no longer taking what they consider to be high or unsafe risks. It's their job to make sure you are a reasonably safe investment for them, and to what degree they are willing to invest in you. All in all, this is generally a safeguard for you, the borrower, as well.

The list below is a portion of what the lender will ask to see. They will also look at things like your credit score/history, and will need to know about the amount of cash you have readily available for a down payment. While this can seem overwhelming, being diligent with the details and getting pre-approved at the very beginning of the process will make your life much easier. You will have a realistic idea of your actual budget (which may not be in line with what you believe you can afford each month). This in turn enables you, and your realtor, to spend time searching for homes you most likely can obtain. You don't want to be disappointed by looking at homes that are out of reach. Nor do you want to miss out on THE house because the seller wants a pre-approval letter with your offer, which another buyer has in hand.

Here is an initial list of what to gather for your first meeting with a lender. They will be more specific and guide you through the process:

Previous 2 years federal tax returns (all pages) along with any W2's, K1's and 1099's.
Previous 2 years partnership or corporation returns, if applicable, with W2's.
Current pay stub covering past 30 days.
Profit and Loss statement for previous year if applicable.
Profit and Loss statement for any business income, if applicable, year to date.
2 months bank statements: checking, savings, retirement (all pages).
Copy of any mortgage statement if applicable.
Copy of tax and fire insurance bill on any property owned.
This is a start.....

I hope this sheds a little light on a very exciting, and sometimes intimidating process. As a realtor, it is my job to help guide my clients through the home buying process. While sharing this information is helpful, I am not a loan professional. I can help move you in the right direction, and am happy to help you connect with a loan professional that is experienced, respected and successful here in my region.

If you are considering either buying or selling a property in the South Lake Tahoe region, or know someone who is, I would be happy to discuss your real estate needs. I am a licensed Realtor in both California & Nevada. Along with Lake Tahoe, I extend my services over the hill into the Carson Valley.

I look forward to helping you with your real estate goals.

Enjoy the View!

Jon Paul
Realtor (CA & NV)
Realty World Lake Tahoe
949 Tahoe Keys Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158
530-545-2896 direct


Comments (4)

Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Jon Paul - Excellent advice and a great overview of the pre-approval process for buyers. And an awesome photo, too.

Apr 26, 2016 04:40 AM
Jon Paul

Thanks for the comment Dick. I appreciate your taking the time to share with me. Have agreat day!

Apr 26, 2016 04:56 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Jon, I want to "clone" your list! Taking the time to put this together ought to reap some benefits for your clients, your loan officer AND you. My area is so very different, not so much in the fact that it's a resort/vacation type of community, as yours must be, too, but I have many cash buyers and even had a seller tell me today that a 1031 exchange buyer would be welcome! 

Apr 26, 2016 08:07 AM
Jon Paul

Sounds like you are in an interesting place there Gayle. I welcome cash buyers, of course. Feel free to clone the list. Enjoy:)

Apr 26, 2016 08:54 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905
Oh, yeah, Dick Greenberg nailed it--awesome photo!!!  (I have never gotten to see the milky way so clearly, altho the country skies that I'm under would most likely be showing me if I stayed up long enough!)
Apr 26, 2016 08:08 AM
Jon Paul

Thanks for the compliment Gayle. It is well worth the late night for the tranquility and majesty of the night sky and quiet world.

Apr 26, 2016 08:55 AM
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Good stuff, Jon - the preapproval is the gateway to ownership, especially in a competitive market, where "please wait while I go get pre-approved" often means losing out on a home.  This message can't be shared enough.  

Great shot, by the way, I just visited your neck of the woods for the first time and fell in love!

Apr 26, 2016 09:11 AM
Jon Paul

THanks for sharing and connecting John! I am someone who doesn't blog a lot, but when I do, I try to really say something. I appreciate that you agree with how important this subject is.

And yes, Lake Tahoe is an amazingly beautiful area. I have actually made my living for 20 years as a large format landscape photographer. I'm passionate about the area, know it well, and share that with my real estate clients. I look forward to sharing more with you here.

Have a great day!


Apr 27, 2016 03:18 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?