Step one …

No, the next line is not “We can have lots of fun”…

We’ve been preapproved for a mortgage loan, yay! Apparently that’s the number one thing to have when you start shopping around for a house, because that little piece of paper shows sellers that you’re serious when you bid, and that you can indeed afford their home.

It’s one step above prequalification, which is less official because it’s just based on a lender’s opinion of what you can afford.

The preapproval letter means you submitted a bunch of personal information such as your Social Security number, total income and debts. In other words, we’ve been verified and our credit checked out.

The only thing was that the mortgage consultant I spoke to asked what range we were looking for, rather than just giving a preapproval up to the maximum we can afford. We more than qualified for the moderate loan amount we want, so our preapproval letter will only reflect that amount and not more, although we could afford it.

Actually, in hindsight, I think it was my subconscious telling me, “Hey, don’t overextend yourself. You can afford a bigger mortgage, but why stretch your finances?”

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