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.