A preapproval is very important for a variety of reasons.
1. When you make an offer to purchase a property, it shows the sellers that you should be able to obtain financing. With the credit squeeze right now, more and more buyers are not getting their mortgage and deals are falling apart.
2. With a preapproval, you will know up front what price range you should be looking in for a home. It will save you and your REALTOR time and help you pinpoint appropriate homes.
3. By talking with lenders in the early stages of your home search, you have time to explore interest rates and mortgage options. When you are ready to move forward on a purchase, you should feel comfortable knowing you did your research and are getting the best deal.
I suggest talking to a variety of banks and brokers and finding out what they can offer you. Depending upon the mortgage program, rates can vary widely. Be clear on the interest rate, the term, the monthly payments, pre-payment penalties, deposit required, etc.
Best wishes with your home search
Christopher Rich - REALTOR
William Raveis Real Estate
Your Fairfield County Connecticut Real Estate Agent