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There’s a world of difference between being pre-qualified for a loan and being pre-approved. Pre-approval means you’ve got skin in the game. It means you’re a boss. And it's proof that you can buy.
Besides being the grown-up thing to do, pre-approval puts you in a better position when you make an offer. Everyone takes you more seriously. Pre-approval also provides evidence to your real estate professional and the seller (or seller’s agent) that a trusted financial institution is willing to finance the purchase.
In most housing markets, sellers are going to expect you to be pre-approved when you make your offer. And when you’re pre-approved, you’re more likely to have your offer accepted — or at least, you won’t lose out on a bid because you have to go back to the bank to get approved for a loan.
As for pre-qualification, it’s an approximation and not necessary unless you have no clue about your creditworthiness and just want a snapshot.
By contrast, with a pre-approval, a lender typically goes deeper and tells you more specifically how big a loan you can get. Caution here: Just because the lender says you can take out a loan for an amount, doesn't mean you should! Consider your lifestyle and monthly budget to decide on the responsible loan amount for you.
To get pre-approved, you must also authorize a lender to pull your credit.
Here's how to deep clean your house without skimping, or pulling a muscle.
#1 Break Out the Drill on Your Bathtub
Cleaning a grungy tub can be back-breaking work. But here's a genius idea that'll save you time and sweat: Use your drill. Simply attach a scrubby (or a foam ball polishing attachment if you happen to have one) and use it to do the deep cleaning for you. Look in the automotive section for the attachment, which is made specially for tackling grime without scratching surfaces.
#2 Soak Stove Burners in Ammonia
Don't worry: No scrubbing involved. To clear the crud, combine your stove burners and 1/4 cup ammonia in a plastic bag and let sit overnight. They should come clean with a light sponge the next day.
#3 Run Floor Vents Through the Dishwasher
If your vents are made of aluminum or steel, there's a shortcut to spic-and-span: Just run them through the dishwasher on a water-only cycle.
#4 Iron Out Bad Carpet Stains
Spritz a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water on the stain, and lay a clean cotton cloth on top. Turn your iron to its highest steam setting and run it over the stain for about 10 seconds to transfer the stain to the cloth and off your carpet.
#5 Tie a Bag of Vinegar Around Your Showerhead
Mineral build-up on your showerhead can cause low-water pressure and wonky water streams. But deep cleaning them is easy without removing them. Using a rubber band, attach a bag of vinegar to your showerhead, making sure all the holes are submerged in the vinegar, and soak it overnight.
#6 Make Your Leaf Blower a Multi-Tasker
Forget the broom and rags when you're cleaning out the garage. Whip out your leaf blower and let it blow all the dust, debris, and dead bugs (yuck!) away from the floor and shelving. Just be sure to put away light-weight things could accidentally get blown out with the trash.
#7 Get Rid of Crayon Marks with Goo Gone
A little bit of Goo Gone (traditionally used to clean sticker residue) will remove the crayon and your headache. Spray it on, wait a moment, and wipe it off cleanly.
#8 Boil Your Range Filter
There's no need to scrub the grease and grime off your range filters. Use a bit of baking soda and your largest pot instead. Set the water to boil, slowly add 1/2 cup of baking soda, and submerge your filters for about five minutes. (Make sure to dump the water somewhere safe. Grease in the drain is even worse than grimy filters.)
#9 Sprinkle Your Mattress With Baking Soda
Use a kitchen strainer to sprinkle baking soda over its surface and let sit for an hour or longer. Longer is better. Then use your vacuum's upholstery attachment to suck up the odor-absorbing soda.