How Long Does a Pre-Approval for a Mortgage Last? Understanding the Timeline


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When it comes to buying a home, obtaining a mortgage pre-approval is an essential step in the process. A mortgage pre-approval provides you with a clear idea of your budget, helps you narrow down your home search, and makes you a serious contender in the eyes of sellers. 

However, it’s important to understand how long a pre-approval for a mortgage lasts and the factors that can affect its validity. In this Redfin article, we will delve into the details of mortgage pre-approvals, their typical duration, and some key considerations.

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a lender’s valuation of your financial situation to determine the amount they are willing to lend you for a home purchase. Unlike a prequalification, which is a preliminary assessment, a pre-approval involves a comprehensive review of your income, credit history, assets, and debts. By obtaining a pre-approval, you show sellers that you are a serious buyer, and it carries more weight in the home buying process.

Pro tip: “Determining your affordability is a crucial step before starting your home search. A loan officer can offer comprehensive guidance in advance, ensuring you make informed decisions at every stage of the home buying process.” – Vision Home Mortgage

Deciding between renting or buying your next home? Explore your options.

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Deciding between renting or buying your next home?

Compare the costs of renting vs buying and find a lender to secure your mortgage.
How long does a mortgage pre-approval last?

On average, a mortgage pre-approval typically lasts for about 60 to 90 days. This timeframe can vary depending on several factors, including the policies of the lender and your specific financial circumstances. It’s important to keep in mind that a preapproval does not guarantee final loan approval, and it’s crucial to maintain a stable financial situation during the pre-approval period.

Factors influencing the validity of a pre-approval

Changes in your financial situation: Major changes in your financial circumstances, such as job loss, significant debt increase, or a decrease in income, can affect the validity of your pre-approval. It is crucial to inform your lender immediately if any such changes occur to avoid any potential issues or delays in the home buying process.

Expiration and renewal: The typical validity of a mortgage pre-approval is around 60 to 90 days. If your pre-approval expires before you find a home or make an offer, you will need to renew the pre-approval process with updated financial information. Renewing a pre-approval usually involves submitting updated documentation and undergoing a new credit check.

Market conditions and interest rates: Fluctuations in the housing market and mortgage interest rates can impact the duration of your pre-approval. If interest rates increase significantly during your pre-approval period, your lender may require additional steps or reevaluation before finalizing your loan.

Benefits of getting a pre-approval

Clear understanding of your budget and affordability: A pre-approval provides you with a clear idea of how much house you can afford, helping you narrow down your search and focus on properties within your price range.

Increased credibility and negotiating power: A pre-approval demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer who has already been vetted by a lender. This can strengthen your negotiating power and give you an edge in competitive markets.

Quick response to opportunities: With a preapproval in hand, you can act quickly when you find the right home, reducing the risk of losing out to other buyers. Sellers often prioritize buyers with preapprovals, as they are more likely to secure financing.

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A final note on mortgage pre-approvals 

In conclusion, understanding the timeline of a pre-approval for a mortgage is crucial for prospective homebuyers. While the duration of a pre-approval may vary depending on various factors, such as lender policies and individual circumstances, it is typically valid for a period of 60 to 90 days. It is important to note that during this time, changes in financial circumstances or credit history can impact the validity of the pre-approval. Staying proactive, maintaining open communication with the lender, and promptly providing any required documentation can help ensure a smooth and successful homebuying journey.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Marissa Crum

Marissa works on Redfin’s stellar Content Marketing team as a Content Marketing Specialist. She’s been with Redfin for 3 years, also dipping into real estate support operations along the way. Living in California, Marissa relishes outdoor activities whenever she can. Her dream home? A modern cottage-style abode with a lush garden, blending comfort with style.

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