Paying off your mortgage can provide peace of mind and is a worthy goal but is it the best thing for you to do at this time.
Homeowners still have considerable advantages from the amortization of the mortgage and the appreciation enjoyed by most homes even with taking the standard deduction instead of itemizing to take the interest and property tax deduction.
"Mise en place" is the French term for having all your ingredients ready to be used before you start cooking. It makes things go smoother and prevents things from being forgotten. Similarly, becoming pre-approved for a mortgage puts the rest of the home buying process "in place."