How to Prepare For A Mortgage Preapproval

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With home prices at an all time low and nowhere else to go but up, it's a great time to buy a home. Before you go out looking at homes though, you need to get yourself a mortgage preapproval. Getting a mortgage preapproval gives you the advantage of knowing exactly how much home you can afford. In addition, it's the first thing that real estate agents look for before they will take you house-hunting.

Things You'll Need:

  • last two years' tax returns
  • most current paystub
  • last three months' bank statements
  • most current 401k statement
  • most current stocks/bonds statements
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Here's how to prepare for a mortgage preapproval:

1) Make an appointment to see a trusted mortgage advisor.

2) Prior to your appointment, make copies of the following documents: last two years tax returns most current pay stub; the last three months' bank statements; most current 401k,  stocks, bonds statements; for any debts that you co-signed for, 12 months' canceled checks proving that someone else is paying the debt.

3) At your preapproval appointment, give these documents to your loan officer and chances are, he or she will be able to run what's called DU (Desktop Underwriting) and get you preapproved right on the spot.

(Note: In case there are some issues that need an underwriter's clearance on, your preapproval may take a little longer.)

Congratulations! With your preapproval in hand, you'll now be ready to start looking at homes to buy!