Securing a rate hold is like having insurance on your mortgage rate – you no longer have to worry about mortgage rates increasing while you find your new home over the next 90-120 days. And if rates drop within that same period, so too will your preapproved rate.
For instance, if you obtain a 3.00% rate hold and then global risks subside and the economy strongly recovers over the next three to four months, that 3.00% could easily jump to 3.5% or higher. In this case, your rate hold for 3.00% would have saved you half of a percentage point, which would translate to a savings of a significant amount of money over the term of your mortgage.
But a rate hold means nothing if you don’t meet the lender’s qualifications. By obtaining a preapproval and a rate hold, you can be confident you have access to mortgage financing and you’ll know how much you can spend before you head out shopping for a property.
It’s important to note, however, that there is a significant difference between being preapproved and prequalified. In order to obtain a preapproval, the lender fully underwrites the deal, whereas with a prequalification only the most basic details are considered. Remember that many banks will only issue a prequalification, while mortgage brokers will ensure you’re preapproved.
As always, if you have questions about rate holds or preapprovals, or other mortgage-related questions, I’m here to help!