Results Realty Buzz: Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Loan Pre-approval!! - Part 1 -

Informing you on the Real Estate Market in Spring Texas and the surrounding areas and other interesting tid bits!

Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Loan Pre-approval!! - Part 1 -

Getting pre-approved for your Spring TX homeI remember being a first time home buyer and the mystery that surrounded the transaction.  This is the first post of a "Spring TX first time home buyer series". I hope this series will help to alleviate some of the home buying mystery.

The VERY FIRST step in the process is to get yourself pre-approved with a good lender.  I'm not talking pre-qualified; I'm talking pre-approved. There is a difference between the two.  In the days where anyone could get a loan this was not a big deal but those days are over.

What is a Pre-Qualification?

A prequalification is simply a meeting between a loan officer and a customer to determine what the mortgage needs of the customer are.  Income and assets are not verified.  The credit report may or may not be pulled.  The information is not submitted to an underwriter.  The lender does not receive enough information to make a credit decision.

What is a Pre-Approval?

Pre-approval includes a complete loan application.  A credit report is pulled and asset and income are verified.  The information is submitted to underwriters for "credit only" decision.  Once you have been pre-approved your credit package can be used with any property.  Final loan approval will be subject to the underwriter approving the property only.  A pre-approval is normally good for 90 days.  The borrower receives a written pre-approval letter.  A true approval requires this income and asset documentation and credit reports are required on all loan types.

Being pre-approved in Spring TX gives you an edge when you start looking for your home.  If you get in to the situation where there is more than one offer on a home it is often the person who is further along in the loan process who will get the home.  I have even had the situation where the other offer was a little more but my seller preferred the person who had a true pre-approval. 

The rules have TOTALLY changed in the mortgage industry.  The products that lenders had for first time home buyers in Spring TX last year, maybe even last week are no longer available to the consumer which makes getting pre-approved for your loan more important than ever.  Once you even think that you might be interested in purchasing a home you should call a lender. Even if the news is not good by going through the process you will know what you need to start working on and you can make a game plan to get your credit in order. 

The days of a real estate transaction being dependent upon the creativity of a loose lender are finished.  Down payments are back again and FHA loans are sometimes the only game in town with VA loans being about the only 100% loan. With all of this in mind getting yourself pre-approved before you ever start looking is more important than ever.  

I am also attaching some Do's and Don'ts you might consider putting in to action when you start thinking about purchasing a Spring TX home.

Do'sLoan approval for your Spring TX home

  • Do make all your payments on time. Your credit will be checked again right before you close.
  • Do continue saving money. There are always additional expenses once you move and you will be glad for that savings.
  • Do make deposits into your bank account on a regular basis. If you have any unusual deposits for large sums of money document them as the lender may need to verify the source.


  • Do not co-sign for any loans for friends or family. That debt would be held against you.
  • Do not decide this is the time to change banks; you can do that after you move in.
  • Do not open ANY new accounts. Even though the new account has a $0 balance it may still affect your debt to income ratio.
  • Do not buy a new car or new furniture!!! Wait until after you are in your new house then go shopping otherwise the debt could affect your debt to income ratio.
  • Do not lender shop over the Internet. Each lender pulls a credit score and multiple hits on your credit report can cause your score to drop dramatically.
  • Do not pull your own score and then decide you will check why accounts are still open or have balances. I did this myself and then had to write a note at closing to explain why I had all these hits on my credit

This is a Spring TX first time home buyers series and as I add additional post I will add the links.  Please feel free to visit my prior post.

  1. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 1 - Loan Pre-approval!
  2. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 2 - The Web Search!
  3. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 3 - The Home Search!
  4. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 4 - What price do we offer!
  5. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 5- The Home offer!
  6. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 6 - The Texas option fee and your home inspection!
  7. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 7 - The Title policy
  8. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 8 - Why you need to live in an HOA!
  9. Spring TX First Time Home Buyers Guide - Part 9 -  What to bring to your closing!


If you are buying or relocating to  Spring Texas and need help from a professional REALTOR®,  Marchel can be reached at or by phone at 832-721-8332. 

If you would like information about Spring TX please visit my websites at and at  The AgentwithResults site is rich in Content about Spring and the surrounding areas of Tomball, The Woodlands and Magnolia.  If you prefer pictures with your content then visit my ResultsRealtyTX site.

Want to find out about new Spring TX properties immediately as they come on the market, then click here to sign up for a free automatic notification of new listings.

Search for home in The Woodlands Creekside VillageClick the button to the left to search our local MLS.

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Comment balloon 23 commentsMarchel Peterson • August 14 2009 10:16PM


Thank you, Miss Marchel, for this wonderful post.  This works in San Antonio as well as in Spring so I think I'll just reblog it since you left that option open. :o)

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 10 years ago

Wonderful post, Marchel. I would add do not make any major purchases, including furniture. We have had furniture as well as cars mess up the ratios. We only had to learn that lesson once :)


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 10 years ago

Hi Marchel,

Great stuff for any buyer Your comment about "rules have TOTALLY changed in the mortgage industry..." so very true.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) over 10 years ago

Hi Marchel,

I just flagged this as a recommended feature post. You have done an outstanding job laying this out and your details are clear and well organized.


I also bookmarked this post. Great Job.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 10 years ago

Marchel great advice.  Some buyers after the pre-approval will go out and buy a big ticket item not realizing this could change there ability to purchase.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 10 years ago

Marchel, What good advice and written for a consumer.  I love coming by here, I can always read and understand your posts which means others can as well!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 10 years ago

Marchel, what a wonderful post! All true, it is such a good thing when buyers have pre approvals rather than prequals.

Great job, looking forward to the next in the series!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Hi Marchel, Great post ... good, factual information in plain language .. with the important explanation of "Why" one should do/not do something on the list --- and its impact on their going-forward transactions --- that is usually the piece people don't include in their "tutorials" ... you didn't miss it, tho!

Posted by Judith Sinnard, The SMARTePLAN Lady (SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas) over 10 years ago

Marchel, Great idea for a series!  I remember the stress of purchasing our first home.  There was so much we did not know.  Thanks for taking the time to put some helpful information together.

Posted by Irene Tron over 10 years ago

Marchel  Since we're both writing on the same topic it will be intersting to follow yours which shows how well qualified you are to write on the subject Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 10 years ago

Marchel  Since we're both writing on the same topic it will be intersting to follow yours which shows how well qualified you are to write on the subject Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 10 years ago

Nicely done.  I like the way your made this simple and easy to understand.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 10 years ago

Excellent post Marchel,  well written and easy to understand.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) over 10 years ago

Marchel: I am going to try to email this back to myself. I sure wish I were eligible for this, I would buy me cottage up in Colorado somewhere.

Posted by Carl Winters over 10 years ago

Hi Marchel, seems like the real estate transaction has turned upside down over the past couple of years and all the rules have been rewritten. I bought my first home ten years ago and it was pre-qualify not pre-approve that is needed today.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) over 10 years ago

Marchel, I love the list of do's and don't's - critical in these days. It seems like our series are a perfect complement to each other.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORSĀ® - Briotti Group) over 10 years ago

This is such important info, especially for first-time homebuyers who may not think twice about some of the "DONT'S"... and I need to remember to mention these, and not just make an assumption. Thanks for reminding ME (to remind them!)

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) over 10 years ago

SHIRLEY, Thanks!  I'm honored that you re-blogged my post.

FRANK & SHARON, I added your not buying furniture to my list beside not buying a new car.

LYNDA, It is a different mortgage world out there than it was even 6 months ago. 

WILLIAM, I appreciate your vote of confidence.  It did not get a feature but you flagging it made me feel very good.

JENNIFER,  I have this wonderful lender who scares them half to death and they completely quit shopping (lol).  It can make the difference between getting a loan or not.

CAROLE, Thanks!  I try to make my post easy to understand and I'm glad to hear that you feel they are.

ANDREA, Whew these are a lot of work.  I just put my second post up.  Now to start thinking about number 3.

JUDITH, Thanks!  I have learned many of these by my clients doing them.  I now have a wonderful lender who tells them exactly what they need to be doing to get their loan.


Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 10 years ago

JOAN, Thanks for stopping by.  I was trying to make this easy to understand as I have had so many people be confused about the two.

RICKI, Thanks that was my intent so I'm glad to see that it worked.

CARL & CEIL, A cottage in Colorado sounds nice about now but I KNOW that I would not like it there int he winter.  Been there done that!!

TERAL, The funny thing is that it is more like it was when I bought my first home back in the 1980's.  It is funny how that pendulum swings.

WILLIAM, I'm enjoying these series.  The only problem I'm finding is that they take so long to write I don't have much time left to read them.

MARA, It is so sad when a first time home buyer does something that hurts them in getting a loan.  I hope these tips will help that from happening.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Marchel:  Great post.  I especially like your do's and don't's list.  The simpler things are made for first time buyers... the better.  I look forward to the rest of our series.  Very nicely done !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 10 years ago

I read them out of order but this one is good too.  Its important for first time home buyers to understand how important this step is because often they are so eager they just want to jump right into looking at homes but you have to take it one step at a time.

Posted by Kimberly Grant, Real Estate Agent - Huntsville Alabama (Exit Leon Crawford Realty) over 10 years ago

GREAT Post!  My hat is off to you for a very well thought out and nicely written article.  You're a gifted writer- keep it up.

Posted by John Duncan, It's not about houses, it's about people (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

Marchel - I started to write a series on buying a home and couldn't figure out whether to recommend pre-qualification or pre-approval, then I couldn't figure out whether the Internet research should come before the pre-approval.  So in the end, I wrote a series about selling your home, which is where my expertise lies.  I appreciate how difficult it is to write on the topic you choose.  There are many different ways to approach this and you've create a clear and simple approach for homebuyers.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 10 years ago

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