Many buyers put off talking to their lenders until they are ready to buy. Sometimes there are some unknown issues in personal finances that come up during the pre-qual process. Often these are small problems that can be easily remedied, but almost all take time and usually a minimum of a month. If you are considering buying in the next year, take the time to talk to a lender now and review the process as well as your finances. As is the case with my preferred lender, they can often identify any issues and advise you on the best and quickest way to address them, so that when you are ready to buy you can hit the ground running.