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Unless you have enough cash to buy a home outright, you'll need a mortgage. In a hot market like the Silicon Valley, you're going to want to get pre-approved. Pre-approved means that a lender has given you a letter saying that you qualify for a loan of a certain amount with specific terms. When it comes to making an offer on a home you want, this piece of paper is critical to having your offer considered seriously.
In this market, no serious buyer would make an offer without knowing what kind of a loan they are qualified for. Also, no seller will take you seriously when you haven't even gotten pre-qualified yet. It takes a bit of time to get pre-qualified, but can make all the difference when it comes time to make an offer.
Each lender has different requirements, but there are some things that are common among lenders. You're going to need to prove employment and income. You will need to show proof of funds for the down payment. Here are the documents most commonly required by lenders:
Your hard work should be rewarded with a letter stating you're pre-qualified for a loan. The lender lays out line by line exactly what kind of a loan you are qualified for and what the mortgage costs will be. In effect, this is your Ticket To Play! Now, you can seriously start searching for a home and be taken seriously in your search. REALTORS® and sellers know you are seriously in the market to buy.
Give me a call and let's talk about your situation. I love to help people buy new homes!