The First Step of Homebuying: Getting Preapproved for a Home Loan

Home Buying

Imagine you’re a recent graduate with your first “real job” and a “real salary” to match. Imagine you’re a family of four expecting number five and needing more space than what your three-bedroom can offer. Perhaps you’re a sun-lover living in the Pacific Northwest looking for a vacation home in the heat of Arizona.

No matter what stage you’re at in life, you’ve made the decision: It’s time to buy a home.

Where to begin?

 Many consider checking real estate listings and attending open houses the first step to buying a home.

If this is you – WAIT. Evergreen Home Loans is here to tell you there is a more important first step: Get preapproved for a home loan.

Getting preapproved

Getting preapproved for a home loan is the key to determining the monthly mortgage payment you can afford. Think of preapproval as a doctor’s checkup, but instead of examining your health, you’re examining your finances. The final assessment of your financial wellness will determine if you’re in the right place to purchase a home.

There is no set timeline for the preapproval process. The complexity of your finances – such as whether or not you’ve made home purchases or taken out past loans – will all play a factor in the duration of your application.

What you need to be preapproved

 Just like your doctor, you should expect your home loan officer to conduct a thorough check during the application process. But, just like the doctor, it’s all to make sure you’re in perfect shape by the time you’re done.

You will need the following information*:

  • Social security number
  • Most recent months’ pay stub(s)
  • Most recent two years’ W-2s
  • Two months’ recent bank statements (all pages)
  • If self-employed or commissioned, year-to-date Profit & Loss and Balance Sheets, and most recent two years’ tax returns

*Depending on your personal circumstances, more or less information may be required.

While it may seem like a lot to round up, these documents prevent you from taking out too big of a loan and ensure you will be prepared to pay back your loan in full. Your loan officer will get to know each borrower’s specific situation so they can help you on a case by case basis. They will let you know the exact documents you need and inform you of any exemptions or special requirements you may qualify for.

 That’s it!

Once you get preapproved, let the house hunting begin!

Most preapprovals are valid for 60 to 90 days. Now is the time to grab listings, attend open houses and if you find the one, put down an offer. An Evergreen loan officer will be by your side every step of the way to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and get you into your dream home as quickly as possible.

Please note: Preapproval is not a commitment to lend and is subject to satisfactory loan conditions including a completed application and property appraisal.

Interested in buying a home? Visit us online at

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