How To Get Approved By a Lender Before Purchasing a Home

Prospective homebuyers in coastal Virginia are required to go through various approvals and applications before securing their home. Mortgage pre-approval is one of the most important steps and lends credibility to potential buyers as sellers will then view them as legitimate candidates, and are more likely to engage and negotiate with them. The pre-approval step also allows the homebuyer to identify their budget and determine an affordable monthly mortgage payment.

Submit a Mortgage Application

Homebuyers must provide their social security number for the coastal VA lender to conduct a credit check to submit a mortgage application. When applying, the application must be accompanied by documentation proving income tax returns, assets and liabilities, job history, and more. To determine an allowable mortgage loan for coastal Virginia real estate, lenders will review your credit score, credit history, debt-to-income ratio, income, employment history, and more.

When to Seek Pre-Approval

As letters of pre-approval are typically only valid for 60-90 days, potential homebuyers should seek pre-approval when they are near ready to make an offer. While the validity window may seem short, mortgage lenders establish this timeline as borrower’s credit profiles may change.

Submitting a pre-approval application early in your house search can still be a valuable move, as it will notify you of any credit issues and give you time to clear them up before you are near ready to put in an offer.

​​How Does the Pre-Approval Process Work?

To start the process, homebuyers must submit a mortgage application to their selected coastal VA lender, inclusive of their Social Security number and supporting documentation. The lender will use this information to conduct a credit check, verify employment history, and determine the applicant’s debt-to-income ratio.

While some mortgage lenders may assess and notify you of your result within hours, the lenders are legally allowed three days to provide a loan estimate. This document outlines whether or not mortgage pre-approval was granted, any pre-approval conditions there might be, and identities the maximum loan amount. Afterward, a loan underwriter will verify your provided documentation against the information provided in your mortgage application and ensure you meet the terms and conditions for the loan program through which you’ve applied.

What Documentation is Required?

As the application process can be lengthy and require extensive amounts of documentation, we have outlined coastal VA lenders’ required documentation here: 30 days of pay stubs, 60 days of bank statements, W-2 tax returns for the previous two years, income tax returns, asset account statements, driver’s license or U.S. passport, divorce papers (if applicable), and a gift letter (if applicable).


While the process of buying a home can be intimidating, mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step in ensuring that you appropriately define a budget and have an eligible credit report for coastal Virginia real estate. The prospective homebuyer must submit an application containing their social security number and supporting identifying documentation to obtain pre-approval.

Mortgage lenders will review the application and provide a response within three days, outlining whether the applicant was successful in pre-approval, obtained pre-approval with conditions, or was denied. Upon securing mortgage pre-approval, sellers are more likely to converse and negotiate with you.

If you have questions or need help navigating the pre-approval process, I’m here to help! Contact me today.



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