It can be a good idea to get approved with more than one lender - it can force competition between the lenders for your business. Good luck!
A few days to a few weeks depending on the ompany.
If it is taking a long time, that is NOT an indication that there is a problem though.... Just that some lenders are backlogged with Gov't loans right now.
I recently got a deal because Wells Fargo couldn't close for 3+ weeks. We got it done in ten days.
I am sure that you will be able to find another lender if this is taking too long for you.
These days FHA processing times to get from completed application to a package (without a subject property) are running 15 to 28 days. It is inordinately long. Some lenders are faster, but the largest lender Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America, is double-checking everything by hand. It takes much longer now, actually since about March.
The pre-approval package does not include the subject property you are trying to mortgage. So, when that appraisal is included you will have another few days, that might occur simultaneously with other verifications or might be added in serially. Get a pre-approval and come back with the property for appraisal later to be approved. It's fastest.
The shortest most lenders are doing right now is about 2 weeks, most 4 weeks for approval.
Pre-qualified is not as strong as pre-approved and does not require verifications to get a pre-qual letter. FHA lenders are pretty well snowed under and will get worse. The 6-day close is gone, for now.
FHA does not require assets unless you are borderline for approval then it can be the deciding factor.
As far as shopping lenders that should be done before you get into the loan process. Level of service is what seperates us do you want Kmart service or Nordstroms. By finding someone dedicated to you and that shows you open and honest communication you will get a great loan for you. Make sure they are directly approved with hud and are no co- brokering the deal which is illegal. Ask if they are full eagle or mini eagle approved, if they dont know the answer move on. I hope this helps
Carol Ann Pease, ABR, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI