Why Pre-Approval Is Even More Important This Year

Why Pre-Approval Is Even More Important This Year

On the road to becoming a homeowner? If so, you may have heard the term pre-approval get tossed around. Let’s break down what it is and why it’s important if you’re looking to buy a home in 2024.

What Pre-Approval Is

As part of the homebuying process, your lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you. According to Investopedia, this includes things like your W-2, tax returns, credit score, bank statements, and more.

From there, they’ll give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. Freddie Mac explains it like this:

A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.

Now, that last piece is especially important. While home affordability is getting better, it’s still tight. So, getting a good idea of what you can borrow can help you really wrap your head around the financial side of things. It doesn’t mean you should borrow the full amount. It just tells you what you can borrow from that lender.

This sets you up to make an informed decision about your numbers. That way you’re able to tailor your home search to what you’re actually comfortable with budget-wise and can act fast when you find a home you love.

Why Pre-Approval Is So Important in 2024

If you want to buy a home this year, there’s another reason you’re going to want to be sure you’re working with a trusted lender to make this a priority.

While more homes are being listed for sale, the overall number of available homes is still below the norm. At the same time, the recent downward trend in mortgage rates compared to last year is bringing more buyers back into the market. That imbalance of more demand than supply creates a bit of a tug-of-war for you.

It means you’ll likely find you have more competition from other buyers as more and more people who were sitting on the sidelines when mortgage rates were higher decide to jump back in. But pre-approval can help with that too.

Pre-approval shows sellers you mean business because you’ve already undergone a credit and financial check. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says:

“Preapproval carries more weight because it means lenders have actually done more than a cursory review of your credit and your finances, but have instead reviewed your pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. A preapproval means you’ve cleared the hurdles necessary to be approved for a mortgage up to a certain dollar amount.

Sellers love that because that makes it more likely the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or issues. And if you may be competing with another buyer to land your dream home, why wouldn’t you do this to help stack the deck in your favor?

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2024, know that getting pre-approved is going to be a key piece of the puzzle. With lower mortgage rates bringing more buyers back into the market, this can help you make a strong offer that stands out from the crowd.


Recent Blog Posts

Why Pre-Approval Is Even More Important This Year

Let’s break down what it is and why it’s important if you’re looking to buy a home in 2024.

Don’t Wait Until Spring To Sell Your House

As you think about the year ahead, one of your big goals may be moving.

2 of the Factors That Impact Mortgage Rates

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve probably been paying close attention to mortgage rates.

2 Reasons Why Today’s Mortgage Rate Trend Is Good for Sellers

If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you.

Thinking About Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These Questions

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you’re probably paying closer attention than normal to the housing market.

Why Pre-Approval Is Your Homebuying Game Changer

If you’re thinking about buying a home, pre-approval is a crucial part of the process you definitely don’t want to skip. So, before you start picturing yourself in you… Read more

Retiring Soon? Why Moving Might Be the Perfect Next Step

If you’re thinking about retirement or have already retired this year, it’s a good time to consider if your current house is still a good fit for the next chapter in y… Read more

Why Mortgage Rates Could Continue To Decline

When you read about the housing market, you’ll probably come across some information about inflation or recent decisions made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed).

Why Now Is Still a Great Time To Sell Your House

Nationally, demand is still high compared to the last normal years in the housing market and plenty of buyers are making moves right now.

Work With Us

The Snyder | Bradshaw Group is led by two real estate veterans who partnered to create an unmatched real estate experience for their clients. Their extensive real estate knowledge and unique approach have forged an elevated level of customer service that benefits their selling clients and buyers alike.