Once you’re sure homeownership is right for you, start to research mortgage lenders. Get prequalification or preapproval documents before you start shopping for St. Louis real estate. This will help you understand how much you can afford so you can narrow down your search. It will also demonstrate to real estate agents that you’re serious and ready to buy, instead of “just looking.”
A buyer can get prequalified for a loan by sharing some financial information with a lender. The lender then gives an estimate of what loan amount the buyer should be able to get. In many cases, the prequalified amount is a ballpark number.
Preapproval, on the other hand, is a bit more involved and the results are more official. The lender runs a credit check and does a thorough examination of the buyer’s financial records. The buyer comes away with a concrete approved loan amount, interest rate, and monthly payment.