For many homebuyers, the buying process begins by searching local real estate listings online. This is definitely an exciting time. But, before you begin house hunting, I’d be happy to obtain a mortgage pre-approval for you so you know how much you can comfortably afford. This will also help you from falling in love with a home you simply can’t afford. A pre-approval is a conditional commitment from your lender to grant you a mortgage. Your lender will conduct a thorough analysis of your finances and creditworthiness, and further, assess whether you meet the requirements to successfully secure the loan you’re seeking. Affordability is determined by looking at a number of factors including your income, interest rates, down payment amount, housing costs and other ongoing financial obligations such as credit card debt and car payments.