You should be able to get a pre-approval the same day. I suggest that you get approved now, so that you know what your options are. Having 740 and higher credit scores doesn't mean you can buy any house. Making $400,000 dollars a year doesn't mean your 620 Fico will qualify. By being pre-approved, you have time to save more money and raise your credit score if necessary. It is also good to have an estimate of your future mortgage payment. Just because a bank says you can afford it, doesn't mean it is in your comfort zone. Some of us like to go out to eat and drive nice cars also. I have seen many people become house poor. The housing inventory is low in the Bay Area. I think you need to start looking at houses now. In July and August you can preview some homes and see what money can buy. If you see one you love, put an offer in. Most ransactions take about 45 days to close. Once in contract you will close in 20-30Days, but it takes time for your offer to be accepted and executed. The current market is also very competitive in certain price ranges. You should be prepared to write more than one offer. Best of Luck.
Are you eligible to get the $8000 tax credit is the first question.
Do you have good credit and down payment?
Are you looking for FHA Loan?
FHA loans take more time than conventional loans.
Start looking for neighborhoods, you like.
Once you select the neighborhood and if you do not get the family house, then starting looking for homes where the sellers have nothing to buy, otherwise the deal may get inordinately delayed.
Keep in mind that rates are very good now!!!
It only takes 30 minutes to have a pre-approval as long as you provide all of the necessary income,credit and asset documentation. Once the loan has been submitted for underwriting it takes between 24-72 hours to recieve the lender approval. Considering NO loans get a clear to close on the first submission there is usually another round of conditions that must be cleared by the Underwriter.
If you need a Pre-Approval for your realtor to take you out to look at homes please give me a call. I can have one prepared immediately for you.
I hope to hear from you soon
On the average, you should anticipate the following time line:
1. About 2 weeks for a preapproval from the mortgage broker/lender, provided you have all of your documents available and completed
2. About 2 months to find a home
3. About 30-40 days to close escrow using a conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan and about 45-60 days to close escrow if using an FHA loan.
So, given this window, the very very latest that you can be in contract (in other words, having found a home and having had your offer accepted by the seller) would be October 1, 2009, if using an FHA loan.
Good luck and you better get moving!!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA