It always wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking to purchase a home. A pre-qualification will give you the peace of mind in knowing that you can qualify and more importantly the amount you qualify for. After all, there is no point looking at houses out of your price range or getting your heart set on a property that you can’t afford.
Another key advantage to getting pre-approved is the rate hold. A rate hold allows you to secure an interest rate at today's current rates and keep this rate for up to 120 days before buying. If interest rates drop during the time you are shopping for a home you will automatically qualify at the new lower rates. If, however, rates go up then you will be safe with the rate at which you were pre-qualified.