When you are shopping for a home there are two aspects of your budget that will determine where you will live:
The low end of your budget
The high end of your budget
On the low end you will find a very affordable home but you may be giving up on city conveniences or a newer home in an established area. On the high end of your budget you may be paying for a more desirable location and a larger home with many amenities. The considerations that will help you decide which home to purchase are varied but they always include what the final price will be and how high (or low) your monthly mortgage payment will be. Applying for a pre-approved mortgage will help you find both ends of your budget and take some of the guesswork out of what type of house you can actually afford. While the mortgage pre-approval process does not guarantee you the mortgage it does set the stage for your shopping and allows you to act quickly when you do find the home of your dreams. With a pre-approved mortgage in hand you often have a better price negotiating position as well since mortgage approval will not be one of the conditions when your real estate agent presents your offer of purchase to the home seller. What information do you need for mortgage pre-approval? You will need clear and understandable information about your income, investments and debts including current mortgage, if any, car loans, personal lines of credit and any other financial obligations you may have such as child support. Bring these documents to your mortgage advisor to speed the process along. The best reason to have a pre-approved mortgage is so you can act quickly when you find your dream home and my experience of helping home buyers such as yourself will make the home buying experience much less stressful.