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Ideal time to apply for pre-approval?

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ORllyNao
Regular Contributor

Ideal time to apply for pre-approval?

Hello! 

 

My wife and I are hoping to buy our first home in the Seattle/Tacoma market later this year, as close to when our lease is up as possible (end of August). We've been working on getting ourselves in the best position possible and doing all the research we can before we actually apply for pre-approval, but the one thing I haven't been able to nail down is what our target timeframe should be to apply. 

 

Some sources say 6 months out, others say 3 months, one even said a year. I've read that pre-approvals are typically good for 90-days (but sometimes less). I imagine after that 90-days, the process starts over/credit is pulled again. Is that correct?

 

I'd like to have as much time as we can to get everything where we want it to be, but also don't want to wait too long and end up paying the insanely high rent we'll be charged for going month-to-month (it's nearly $6k/mo for MtM, no joke). 

 

Would it be reasonable to apply in May, or could that possibly be on the late side due to a pretty hot market in our area? If we were to use DP assistance through Chenoa fund, would that add to the timeline?

 

Any thoughts on this are much appreciated! 

 

Thanks!


FICO 8 | March 2023
Message 1 of 4
3 REPLIES 3
ShanetheMortgageMan
Super Contributor

Re: Ideal time to apply for pre-approval?

The credit report is good for 120 days, so if you haven't closed on a home by then it'll just need to be re-checked in order to continue the loan process.  If you want to close by end of August then I wouldn't wait another longer than end of May for the credit check.  It's also never too early for you to discuss things with a loan officer and if you know what your mortgage scores are + the balances & payments of items on your credit report then you might not end up needing to get your credit checked at this point.  The Chenoa down payment assistance program usually doesn't slow the process down too much and wouldn't require you to get pre-approved sooner than if you weren't going to use it.  I''d recommend you talk with a loan officer now so you can get an idea of how much you'd qualify for, what documents will eventually be needed, how much money due at closing, etc. and then you and the loan officer can determine when the appropriate time to have your credit checked is.

Free Mortgage Advice & Pre-Approvals (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie, Freddie, Non-Prime, Construction, Renovation/Rehab, Commercial) since 2002
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Message 2 of 4
ORllyNao
Regular Contributor

Re: Ideal time to apply for pre-approval?


@ShanetheMortgageMan wrote:

The credit report is good for 120 days, so if you haven't closed on a home by then it'll just need to be re-checked in order to continue the loan process.  If you want to close by end of August then I wouldn't wait another longer than end of May for the credit check.  It's also never too early for you to discuss things with a loan officer and if you know what your mortgage scores are + the balances & payments of items on your credit report then you might not end up needing to get your credit checked at this point.  The Chenoa down payment assistance program usually doesn't slow the process down too much and wouldn't require you to get pre-approved sooner than if you weren't going to use it.  I''d recommend you talk with a loan officer now so you can get an idea of how much you'd qualify for, what documents will eventually be needed, how much money due at closing, etc. and then you and the loan officer can determine when the appropriate time to have your credit checked is.


Awesome - thank you so much! This is very helpful! We'll be connecting with a loan officer that works with Chenoa fund soon. 


FICO 8 | March 2023
Message 3 of 4
maxchurn
Valued Member

Re: Ideal time to apply for pre-approval?

Some banks will extend the window that your credit report is valid, just ask them. Same with rate locking etc., just about everything is negotiable. They should be competing for your business anyway

Message 4 of 4
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