What Mortgage Pre-Approval Is—and Why You Must Get It

It’s the first question you should ask yourself when you want to buy a house or other real estate in Maine: How can I “shop” for a piece of property without knowing what I can afford? That’s where the mortgage pre-approval process from KFS Mortgage Company comes in. Getting a mortgage pre-approval is the process by which you work with us to verify your financial information to determine an affordable mortgage loan amount. The mortgage pre-approval lets you know “how much house you can buy” AND allows you to make more substantial offers. Let’s quickly look at the process.

Gathering Your Financial Documentation

Getting pre-approved is essentially a home mortgage application, so you’ll need to gather your documentation to offer KFS Mortgage Company a complete look at your finances. Our loan underwriting team will require proof of income, validation of assets, employment verification, credit history. The documents you’ll need to share with us may include W-2 statements, pay stubs, bank statements, driver’s license, and Social Security number. To see all document requirements, download this pre-approval document checklist.

Getting Your Pre-Approval Letter

After providing the requested documentation and filling out the loan application, you can generally expect to receive your pre-approval letter within a few business days. The mortgage pre-approval letter will provide you with the official documentation stating that you have been pre-approved by a Maine mortgage lender and will show your buying power. 

Benefits of Obtaining a Pre-Approval Letter

Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval letter gives you many benefits. First and foremost, you can put your worries and confusion aside by knowing how much a mortgage lender will allow you to borrow and how much mortgage you can comfortably afford. 

A mortgage pre-approval also allows you to narrow down your home-buying search, focus on properties you can afford, and make knowledgeable decisions during the negotiation process. 

Real estate agents will want to see your pre-approval letter before they begin showing you houses. By doing so, they’re ensuring they are not showing you homes you can’t afford. The Maine real estate market is low on inventory, and property typically sells fast, so time is of the essence. 

Lastly, the pre-approval letter empowers you when you make an offer on a house. By having it ready to show to the seller, you ensure that you are seen as a serious buyer—one who won’t have trouble receiving a home mortgage for the house's sales price.

A Final, Important Word about Getting Pre-Approved

You must understand that a pre-approval isn’t “good forever.” Your pre-approval letter will have a specific expiration date—typically 60 to 90 days after you receive it—and it’s critical to keep that in mind as you and your realtor search for your new home in Maine. 

So what happens if you haven’t bought a house by the expiration date? You will need to renew your pre-approval by sharing your up-to-date financials with your mortgage loan officer.

Additional Resources

If you are not ready to apply online today, you can find additional resources by viewing KFS Mortgage’s Company’s pre-approval page

Additional pre-approval resources can be found in the following blog articles. 

For more information about getting a mortgage pre-approval and other mortgage-related questions, please contact KFS Mortgage Company

We look forward to helping you secure a mortgage loan that fits your needs and working with you to purchase your next home in Maine.