An important first step
To get pre-approved, ask your friends and relatives to recommend banks and mortgage companies, preferably in the area in which you hope to purchase. Select a couple, meet and discuss your plans and finances. A good mortgage broker will do a very thorough and accurate job so that when you finally make application for a mortgage, after you've secured a "Purchase and Sales" agreement, the application approval time may be greatly reduced. The pre-approval letter, which almost guarantees that you will be approved for a mortgage, should arrive in about a week.
Many banks offer potential buyers a "Pre-Qualification Letter" which is prepared after a short meeting with the lender. It does not go into the depth of the pre-approval analysis and only gives a general idea of how much you may be qualified for. If you are a serious buyer, go for the pre-approval letter. dfk.
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