Purchasing a home is a tremendous financial responsibility. Here are three tips for the lending process that will get you ready to make offers on your next home.

Get pre-approved. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you put yourself in a better position to make an offer when you find the right house. Talking with a lender prior to looking at homes helps define your budget and avoid time spent looking at houses you can’t afford. Unlike pre-qualification, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. Including a pre-approval letter with an offer lets potential sellers know that a thorough analysis of your actual spending power has been performed, and you are a serious buyer!

Choose your mortgage carefully. There are many mortgage options available. Interest on fixed-rate mortgages remains the same throughout the life of the loan. They typically come in terms of 30, 15, and 10 years; Choosing the 30-year option can result in lower monthly payments and is a popular choice. Adjustable rate mortgages feature lower rates and payments early in the loan when compared to fixed rate mortgages, but rates and payments can change significantly over the life of the loan. Talk with your lender and make sure you fully understand the mortgage option you plan to use before you start placing offers on homes.

Talk to your agent and start making offers. Before you make an offer on a home, have your agent do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in your desired area. Your agent will consider the most recent sales of similar homes and help you make an informed decision on what you plan to offer any seller for their home. For example, if homes have recently sold for 2 percent more than the list price and aren’t taking a long to sell you should consider offering over list price on your initial offer.

If you are thinking about buying a home and need to obtain financing: get pre-approved, choose your mortgage carefully, and talk with your agent to start making offers. It is that easy!!