Pre-approvals for a mortgage are usually good for about 6 months. You really want to get pre-approved when you think you’re buying something in the next 6 months and DEFINITELY before you start shopping for a new property.
Your line of work will determine how much information a lender needs to be able to provide you with an accurate pre-approval (or in some cases, if you can be approved at all). Self-employed folks need to have two years of Business under their belt before they are eligible for a pre-approval. Salaries individuals just need two paystubs in most cases. Ever situation is different but we typically set up our clients with a knowledgeable local lender to coach them through what is needed.
in some cases you may need help building credit, building wealth prior to your home shopping and a good lender is able to organize a game plan for you to execute to do that.