First time homebuyer here, about to navigate this process. Our apartment lease is up at the end of June, and we need to definitively notify the apartment company that we are leaving by the end of April, so we need to at least know everything's a green light to be able to buy a house before then. We can buy anytime, a couple months of overlap between leasing/owning is not a problem. We've been holding off on even setting foot in a loan office at my credit union for a preapproval until after mid March, when my annual bonus pays out, which will be somewhat substantial to help bolster our down payment and cash reserves, plus another couple paychecks to put towrads savings. I will also get notification of my new salary at this time, going into effect April 1st. So I've been holding off on the preapproval until I have these things to have a better chance at success in the preapproval process. But should we be getting the preapproval now from a timeline standpoint, or should we wait the extra month? Do we stand a much worse chance at preapproval without this extra cash? It could potentially increase our cash on hand by close to 50% (looking to do a conventional loan with 5% or even 3% down as I saw conventionals with 3% down are back on the table). My credit is excellent (800ish), wife's is just under 700 due to short credit history being from Japan and only living here 3.5 years. Income is about $100k, but only want to spend maximum $1500 a month on a home, PMI included. Absolute worst case scenario (and rather conservative actually) is with a $1500 payment our debt to income ratio would be 37% with 2 car payments and student loans (2 of which will be done in 2.5 years). So I don't know, is waiting until mid-March, just three months before our lease ends too long to wait to start the process? We won't be buying a foreclosure or short sale, just a normal purchase. Trying to balance the timeline with the March bonus. We could go month to month after June at our apartment, but really don't want to as that gets very expensive and still requires 60 days notice to vacate. But it is an option.