Century 21 Affiliated
Barry Shaw - CENTURY 21 Affiliated - Hudson WI

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If you’ve been searching for a house for any amount of time, you’re probably well aware of how important it is to get a mortgage pre-approval before you even start looking at houses, or at least as early on in the process as possible.

But what might come as a surprise to you is that you should also get it updated once in a while — especially considering the current real estate market, because mortgage rates have fluctuated up and down, and it’s often taking buyers longer to find a house to buy.

It might sound like a pain in the neck to have to do it again, but the benefits of spending a few minutes getting your pre-approval updated will make it worth the time spent.

When Should You Update Your Pre-approval?

Pre-approvals aren’t good forever. The length of time each lender extends an approval for may vary, but they’re typically good for 60-90 days before they need to be updated or renewed. So, in the least, you’ll want to get it updated whenever your lender’s approval letter expires. But there are other things that can impact your pre-approval during those two to three months which may affect your approval as well.

Here’s a list of things that would indicate it’s a good idea for you to get your pre-approval updated:

If you took a break from looking. The past few years have been frustrating for buyers, causing many people to take a break from their house hunting. If you’ve been on the sidelines for even just a few months, you should reach out to your lender to get your pre-approval updated.

If it’s been taking a while to find the house you want, or get one under contract. Even if you haven’t taken a break, time flies when you’re having fun, and the next thing you know you’ve been on the prowl for a new home for longer than it seemed. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Due to low inventory, and a lot of other buyers competing for the limited number of houses on the market, it can take a while to finally find (and get!) your dream home. So take a look at the dates on your pre-approval to see if yours is still good or not.

If you’ve changed jobs. Even if you’re making more money than you were before, changing your career can impact whether a lender will approve you for a loan. If it’s an upward or lateral career move within the same or similar industry, you should be fine. But if you’re entirely changing careers and getting into a different field, it could be something that lenders frown upon. Either way, reach out to see if it impacts you so you can ease their concerns if there are any.

If you’ve had changes in your finances. Obviously an increase or decrease in pay at your job could impact how much you’re approved for. But any change in your finances makes it worth updating your pre-approval. For instance, if you’ve received any inheritances, bonuses, or paid off some significant debt, it’s a good idea to revisit your pre-approval to leverage your improved financial position.

If you bought a car, or any other big-ticket item. Big purchases, especially if they come with loans you have to pay on a monthly basis, can impact your debt to income ratio. But even if you paid all cash for something, it could impact how much the bank is willing to lend to you.

If your credit score has changed. It’s easier for people to keep an eye on their credit score now than it ever was, so if you’ve been watching yours and have seen it go up or down recently, you might want to see how that impacted your pre-approval by getting it updated.

If interest rates have changed. Mortgage rates are constantly changing. A small percentage change won’t necessarily impact you all that much, but if rates have gone up since you were first pre-approved, it could impact how much you qualify to borrow. On the other hand, if rates have come down since you were first pre-approved, it could be a good time to lock in a rate if you’re close to making your purchase. Even a small monthly savings can add up over the life of the loan.

There may be new programs or types of loans available to you. Lenders roll out new types of loans on occasion, or change the criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for existing ones. So it’s worth updating your pre-approval to see if there’s a better fit for your situation, which may even improve how much you can borrow, or give you better terms.

Even if none of those apply to you, an up-to-date pre-approval letter will be required by the listings agent whenever you make an offer on a house. So make sure your pre-approval is current at all times to avoid wasting precious time when you find a house you love. Also, submitting one that is outdated could also impact how the listing agent and seller view you, if you don’t look as prepared and thorough as other competing buyers.

Even if you’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage, you might need to get your pre-approval updated on occasion during the process of searching for a home. For starters, they’re only valid for 60-90 days typically. But beyond that, there are a number of factors that could impact your approval within that time frame, so make sure to have your lender update yours if there have been any significant changes in your life, or the market since your first approval was done.

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What my clients are saying  

Barry is the best in the business! He exceeds expectations and truly cares about the people he is working with! Thanks Barry, we look forward to working with you again.


~ Kelli Joy

"Great experience would use Barry again. All worked out well. Excellent experience."


~ Collette

First time home buyer, and he was great to work with! I will definitely be using Barry in the future! Best guy in the business!


~ Jon K.

"Pleasure to work with. Answered all of our questions and always responded promptly. Made his schedule flexible to fit ours. Overall great experience."


~ Brad

"Barry helped my husband and I buy our first house. A lot of people advised me when I started talking about the home buying process that it was very stressful and time consuming. Yes, it felt a little stressful but I have to say buying our first house was a smooth transaction. Barry was excellent with communication. I prefer using my email since I don't always have my cell phone on me. Barry was very quick at replying to all my emails and was always very polite. Barry was also very professional when setting up showings for us, showing the house and at closing. When we received a counter offer on the house from the owner I wasn't sure how to go about it. Barry walked me through all possible options. The options he gave with his opinions felt trustworthy (he wasn't just trying to make the sell). I also really liked that Barry was laid back. He has a calm and friendly demeanor, made him a pleasure to work with!"


~ Katarina

I chose to work with Barry because he was recommended by a good friend. Barry was amazing. The process went smoothly because he constantly kept us up to date on EVERYTHING. I have already recommended Barry to a few people.


~ Liz

I was purchasing this home from out of state and Barry carefully chose a beautiful home for me and my price range.He carefully listened and answered all questions and was always available.I would highly recommend him!This was the perfect place to come home to.


~ Mike

This realtor is more on selling your home and investing his time and money into it. He works with you and is very respectable of your home. I have not found another realtor that cares about you selling your home instead of how much money they make. He is the best by far!! I have also heard from others how nice this person is and how helpful he is; who goes out of his way to please!


~ KT N

Barry was wonderful to work with, especially as I was a first-time home buyer and being completely novice with the home buying process. From working with me on affordable homes and proffering advice, and knowing when it was right to delegate concerns as appropriate, Barry definitely knew my needs and interests in a home. His approach is no-nonsense. Definitely not pushy. On the contrary -- On the day I saw the home of my dreams, there were still a couple homes on the list to check out and he had asked me if I was sure I didnt want to see them. I'd said no, but it was fantastic he encouraged me to try one or two other homes. But even my mum has an old adage - when the right house is found, one knows straightaway that is the one. And he was very helpful for a post-sale issue too. Am most grateful! And he's right - living in Wisconsin is fantastic. Barry is highly recommended - again, much thanks!


~ David

If you are looking for a new home Barry Shaw is your guy. He is excellent! He found us the home of our dreams and helped us with all of our questions through closing. Thank you Barry!!


~ Robb

Barry understands all the emotions you go through when buying/selling your home. He responded to emails quickly. He set up home showings quickly for my husband and I to view. His negotiation skills are excellent. I highly recommend Barry to sell your house or find the house you always wanted! He found the perfect house for my family.


~ Jennifer

It was very enjoyable to have Barry show us houses in Prescott,WI. and surrounding areas. He was responsive in showing us the homes we were interested in, with no pressure. He was very helpful.


~ MC

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