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    NOLA Home Buying 101: How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

    If you’ve spent even a nanosecond researching how to buy a New Orlean home, you know that the first step in the process is always, always, always (you get the idea) to have your mortgage pre-approval in hand before you start home shopping.

    Home buying power

    Why is this so important?

    Sellers today no longer want to wait for you to make a mortgage loan application and then find out down the road that you can’t qualify for the purchase price. Instead, they give more weight to offers from people who have taken the time to work out financing before they write a contract.

    What documents do you need for a pre-approval?

    • Tax returns
    • W-2s or 1099s
    • Bank statements
    • Pay stubs
    • Investment statements

    Who gives the pre-approval?

    Your mortgage lender provides the pre-approval letter, which should include the type of loan you will be getting (FHA, VA, Rural Development or Conventional), the maximum loan you qualify for and the interest rate you will be paying.

    Ask your lender to run your application through underwriting to be sure that they have actually reviewed your information. We’ve seen way too many lenders writing approvals lately and then backing out later on when the application goes through underwriting. By the time this happens, buyers have spent hundreds of dollars on inspections and appraisals and the lender is not going to refund any of that money to you.

    PRO TIP: Ask your agent before providing your pre-approval letter to a seller. You don’t want to tip off the seller or their agent about your buying power if you are making an offer for less than your approved amount!

    What if you can’t qualify right now?

    A good lender will let you know what items on your credit bureau might be holding you back. Address those issues and you’ll be ready to buy.


    Searching for the right place in New Orleans to call home? We’ve got them all, right here. Thousands of homes for sale, experienced agents and someone waiting to help you today. Call us at 504-327-5303 or contact us here.


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    New Orleans REALTORS providing home buying, selling, and rental services throughout the metropolitan New Orleans communities.

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    Real buying, selling, and renting advice from New Orleans REALTORS