Prequalify for a mortgage: How much do I qualify for in Phoenix, AZ?
Mortgage Banker
Richard Blair
Published on June 1, 2021
Phoenix Arizona Prequalify for a mortgage

Prequalify for a mortgage: How much do I qualify for in Phoenix, AZ?

When starting the home buying journey the biggest concern for home buyers is always “how much do I qualify for” and “what price home can I buy”. The first step in answering these two very important questions is to prequalify for a mortgage loan. The primary benefit of being prequalified for a mortgage is that you will know with certainty before shopping for a home the amount of monthly payment to expect and the appropriate price range. A common mistake for many home buyers that are prequalifying for a mortgage loan is to focus on the maximum amount they pre-qualify for rather than qualifying for an amount that meets their family budget. You will want to try to qualify for an amount that you have budgeted for in regards to a monthly payment and then narrow your home search to properties that best fit your family budget. A pre-qualification can generally be completed within the same day or the next day by your mortgage loan originator.   

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How to prequalify for a mortgage  

Once you decide to start your home buying journey one of the very first steps is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified for a loan, a mortgage loan originator, or mortgage lender, will typically ask you to complete an online loan application first and provide financial information. The mortgage loan originator will then review your credit report, together with your financial information, such as your income, and assets to make a determination of what lending program is best for you and how much you can borrow. The pre-qualification will only be as good as the amount of financial information you provide to the mortgage lender.  A pre-qualification can range from a simple verbal conversation with a mortgage loan originator regarding your income, credit savings, and assets to a very thorough examination of your credit report, tax returns, W2s, pay stubs, bank statements, and a review of a credit report. A pre-approval even goes an additional level by requiring the same thorough documentation as the pre-qualification and having a complete underwriter review resulting in a Conditional Loan Approval.  The full credit approval by an underwriter is a complete review, which includes verification of income and assets and following all applicable lending guidelines.

A common question is “How long is a pre-approval letter good for?” In general terms the credit report that the pre-qualification is based upon expires after 120 days. This means that the closing on your home must occur within 4 months of your pre-qualification. After 120 days a new credit report must be reviewed to determine if there are any significant changes to your credit score, credit history, or the amount of monthly debt.   

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What’s the primary benefit of being prequalified for a mortgage?

Before searching for your dream home, or even speaking with a real estate agent, your very first step is to get prequalified for a mortgage. If you start looking at homes before you prequalify for a mortgage loan you may end up falling in love with a home that you cannot financially afford and a loan amount you cannot qualify for. Prequalify first and you will know exactly how much you can afford to borrow, the range of home prices that will allow you to stay within your family budget, and the amount of down payment required. A loan prequalification from a mortgage lender is the green light for starting your home search and tells you how much home you can afford and what price range to stay within.  While current mortgage interest rates in Arizona, and even nationally, are still at historic low rates we are in a sellers’ market because housing inventory is low. When there is a shortage of homes for sale and many home buyers trying to take advantage of low-interest rates it makes for a very competitive situation for home buyers. If there are several offers on the same home, then you need to make sure your offer stands out and is more attractive to the Seller. The first step in gaining a competitive edge and getting a step ahead of other home buyers is to work with a respected mortgage loan originator that will put in the additional work upfront to not just pre-qualify you, but actually submit your loan for full underwriting approval. Some Arizona mortgage lenders will not send your loan to underwriting for pre-approval unless you have a signed purchase contract. If that is the situation, find an Arizona mortgage lender that will help you take a step above other home buyers and complete the initial pre-qualification, then submit your home loan for an underwriting pre-approval.  That’s what a mortgage loan originator is and how they can help with an Arizona mortgage. 

Why the Richard Blair Mortgage Team of dwell Mortgage is the go-to local Phoenix, AZ loan originator 

My Team and I understand the competitive nature of this home buying market and how frustrated and discouraging it can feel to lose out on your dream home. To keep our home buying customers ahead of the game and successful, we found a way to give our pre-qualified and pre-approved customers a huge edge in the market. As an Arizona Mortgage Lender we are in tune with local market conditions and continually adjust our pre-approval process to give you an edge. We go the extra step from a simple pre-qualification to actually submitting all your documentation to an underwriter to review and issue a Conditional Loan Approval. Not all mortgage lenders will go this extra step for you because of the amount of time and resources it takes to fully underwrite a loan. Many other mortgage lenders will only underwrite if you have an accepted purchase contract. That no longer works in the current home buying market where the inventory is low and homebuyers are plentiful. 

Why do we do it? The edge my Team and I give you shows the seller you have committed to your lender which adds certainty to the loan process and the seller can be assured that the loan process will move quickly and the sale will close on time.  Sellers want certainty that the buyer has been thoroughly pre-approved by a reputable lender and will often check out the lender’s online reviews. Speed of closing, not just price, is crucial to the seller when weighing multiple offers from home buyers. With a full Conditional Pre-Approval, the loan can close faster than other homebuyers because you are already credit approved, the loan is only subject to an appraisal, and this makes your offer far more attractive. In addition, for home buyers that my team and I pre-approve, we offer the seller a $10,000 Guarantee if we cannot close your loan because of a credit condition that was already underwritten. 

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When you prequalify for a mortgage loan my team and I will combine the human touch together with cutting-edge technology, automation, and great communication to provide an amazing experience. The goal is to educate and empower home buyers to make wise financial decisions and provide them an edge in today’s market. By simplifying the mortgage prequalification process we take the uncertainty out of buying a home. A custom loan plan together with a one-on-one planning session makes choosing the best lending option for your mortgage prequalification easy. Choosing the right option saves money, makes your home more affordable, and helps your family achieve your financial goals. We combine our culture to treat everyone like family with technology, low-interest rates, and expert personal guidance. That is why past customers agree…we’re not your average lender!

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Mortgage Banker
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