A great thing about getting preapproved for you as a buyer is that you will be able to talk with the lender. Your lender will be able to tell you how much you can afford, so you will know your maximum purchase price, and what your monthly payments will be. Sometimes it is better to spend less than the maximum price- I always say a 30 year fixed loan is 360 payments so make sure you are comfortable and not stretching too thin. For first time home buyers, you often have to stretch to buy your first property- so if you are stretching be willing to “rough it” for a few years as this sometimes just comes with the territory of buying your first home.
When you are talking with your lender, ask about interest rates, rate locks, closing costs, and different loan programs (FHA loans, VA Loans, interest only, 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed, Point loans, No Point loans), Private Mortgage Insurance.
With your preapproval letter in hand, you are ready to write offers!