As the federal home buyer tax credit nears its April 30 end-date, there’s a lot of would-be home buyers still working to get under contract.
A piece of advice for all of them : If your pre-qualification and/or pre-approval letter is more than 8 weeks old, it would be prudent to have your lender “re-pre-approve” you. Mortgage guidelines have been in flux and your original lender letter may now be invalid.
For example, over the past half-dozen months, the majority of mortgage lenders have reduced their risk tolerance with respect to:
- Maximum debt-to-income ratios
- Minimum allowable credit scores
- Calculation of “assets in reserve”
For buyers of condominiums and co-ops, even the subject property itself is coming under tougher scrutiny.
Today’s mortgage applicants need to be a complete package. It takes more than just good income and credit to get approved anymore and today’s buyers should revisit their qualifications. What passed underwriting in January may not pass in May.
Being pro-active brings other advantages, too. If a mortgage re-pre-approval does unearth an issue, it’ll be easier for every party to the transaction to address and correct it up-front versus trying to clean up a mess once a home’s already under contract.
Talk to your agent and your loan officer about your pre-qualification/pre-approval letter before you bid on a home.