Post date: July 1, 2021 1:00 PM

What You Need to Know About Pre-Qualifying for a Home Purchase

Are you considering purchasing a new home? It's a thrilling and frightening time. While buying a new home might be stressful, having your ducks in a row will make the process go lot more smoothly. Here are some pointers on how to get started and get pre-qualified for a mortgage.

Pre-Qualified vs Pre-Approved

While you've probably heard both terms before, they mean different things in the home buying world.

Here's what each means.


  • The first step. It's done to find out how much of a loan you'll qualify for.

  • It's based on the information you provide

  • It isn't a sure thing. A lender will take a closer look at your financial position during the pre-approval stage.


  • The next step, when you wish to start making offers on homes.

  • You'll need to fill out a mortgage application

  • The lender will verify your financial information and credit checks will be performed.

  • You'll need an estimate of your down payment

  • You'll receive a conditional commitment of a loan amount to be disbursed.

Pre-qualification is advantageous because it actively informs you of how much you can spend. Knowing that before you start looking for a house will help the process go much more smoothly. You can look at homes that you know are within your price range, saving both you and the lender time.

Pre-qualification also indicates to lenders that you're in the financial position to borrow. In simple terms, it may indicate your creditworthiness.

So How Do I Get Pre-Qualified?

Even if you aren't ready to buy a home, a pre-qualification should be garnered to know how much you can afford. It will also make a pre-approval easier when the time comes to start the home buying process.

So what kind of information will the lender look for?


Lenders will need to know how and where the money is coming in. If you're an employee of a company, this means you'll need to provide:

  • W-2s or recent pay stubs

  • Recent tax returns

It might be a bit more complicated for self-employed individuals. You'll need some sort of documentation to show income. This typically includes:

  • Profit and loss statements

  • Tax Returns, including Schedule C for sole proprietors, Form 1120S for corporations, or Form 1065 for partnerships.


You may also need to provide the following

  • Bank statements - This will include checking and savings accounts.

  • Investment accounts, including CDs

  • Retirement accounts

All lenders are different and some may simply request bank statements for a pre-qualification to see that there is income available. The other statements will be required during the pre-approval process.


To get a clear financial picture, knowing how much debt you owe in correlation with your income is essential. Lenders may ask for:

  • What your monthly debts are and how much is owed on each.

  • This can include credit card debt, student loans, and car payments.

To prevent homebuyers from purchasing more than they can afford, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has guidelines in place to calculate whether a buyer is in the financial position to carry a certain loan amount.

They will calculate if your current debts, along with a projected mortgage amount, exceed 43% of your income. If it does, you will not qualify for that mortgage amount.

Becoming pre-qualified for a home mortgage loan will give you a good idea about how much you can afford when you're ready to start looking. Not only that, but it will make the pre-approval process much smoother. If you're looking to become pre-qualified, we can help. Contact us today for more information.

Jeff Wagner Mortgage Locator CA is a Ventura County licensed mortgage loan originator based in Oxnard, California. Call or text Jeff 805-874-2829. NMLS ID 2054210