Financing – Pre-Approval Letters

Habitat homebuyers need to secure financing from an approved lender. It is important to remember that you do not need a pre-approval letter to apply for a Habitat home. Our office will let you know if and when it is time to contact a lender.

What is a pre-approval letter?

A pre-approval letter is an offer from a lender to loan you a certain amount under specific terms. The pre-approval provides information on the amount of the mortgage and down payment assistance that you qualify for based on your income and helps determine if you qualify to buy a Habitat home. The pre-approval does not need to equal the estimated market value. Habitat can provide financing for the difference between the estimated market value and your loan approval amount, if it is less than the sales price of the home.

How do I get a pre-approval letter?

Step 1: Gather financial documents
All lenders require you to turn in a variety of financial documents, so it’s a good idea to gather them ahead of time. Keep these documents handy as Habitat will ask you for a lot of the same things. These documents usually include:

  • IDs
  • the last 3 years of full tax returns
  • bank statements for the last 2 months – all accounts
  • pay stubs from the last 2 months, year-to-date profit and loss statement, or any other proof of income
  • any disclosure of assets or award letters

Step 2: Choose a lender
The following is our list of approved lenders. Pre-approval letters from lenders not on this list will not be accepted:

  • Homesight – Brooke Gibson: 206-305-2672,
  • Banner Bank – Katy Hawley: 425-830-4493,
  • HomeStreet Bank – Jeannet Gil: 206-518-4050
  • BECU – Molly Smith or Josh Thomsen: 206-439-5037
  • US Bank – Brian Rutt: 253-359-1883

Step 3: Request Pre-approval from Lender

All of our approved lenders have online portals to start the application process. You can also contact them directly by phone or email if you prefer. Keep in mind that the time it takes for a lender to get you a pre-approval can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks. Because of this we encourage you to complete this step as soon as we make this request.

When do I apply for a Pre-Approval Letter?

The first step to participate in the Habitat program is to apply with Habitat for the home you are most interested in purchasing. Once your application has been reviewed and your eligibility is verified our office will contact you and provide you with a Lender Letter to present to the approved lender you choose. Preparing your documents in advance will expedite the pre-approval process.

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