Mortgage Confidential: Re-qualify yourself


Mortgage expert David Reed invites Walletpop readers to ask him questions about real estate financing. leave your questions in the comment section of this post.

Rates over the past few months have been volatile, to say the least. I recall one day where mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed rate loan went up nearly 1/2% in one day. That's a rare occurrence, but not unheard of. Rates can move throughout the day based upon a variety of economic or political factors but the fact that they do move requires a portion of prudence when it comes to qualifying.

Realtors, lenders, even your beer buddies acknowledge the importance of getting pre-approved by a lender before you go shopping for a home. When you do so you can shop in confidence. That is unless you were pushing debt ratios to begin with while mortgage rates hovered near 5 1/2%, like they did last March. Now, rates are closer to 6% and if you got pre-approved for a home loan a couple of months ago and are still shopping you might want to contact your lender and make sure you can still qualify.

This is especially true for those who might have been pre-approved for a mortgage to buy a brand new house but the builder isn't finished with your new abode. A lot can happen over several weeks, shoot, a lot can happen in the course of a business day. If you're pre-approved, it pays to contact your lender to find out how high rates can go and still keep your pre-approval. If you make an offer on a house and rates have gone up, you might be in for a sad surprise.

Real estate finance expert David Reed is president of CD REED Mortgage Bankers in Austin, TX and author of Mortgage Confidential: What You Need to Know That Your Lender Won't Tell You and Mortgages 101: Quick Answers to over 250 Critical Questions About Your Home Loan.