Buying a Home

Good preparation can make it stress free!

Are you ready to purchase a home? Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments you will make in your lifetime. Some even consider this fulfilling the American dream. The process does not have to be stressful. In fact, it is actually quite easy if you are well prepared.

Getting Started

To begin the loan application process you will need to document your sources of income, assets owned, identity and place of residence. Collect your information, then schedule an appointment with your lending officer. Your lending officer will use your information to complete a loan application and begin the loan pre-approval process.

Items required for the mortgage pre-approval process

  • Pay stubs - most recent for the last 30 days
  • W2's or tax returns if self employed - for the last two years
  • Bank statements on all asset accounts held - for the last two months
  • Valid driver's license
  • Social Security card
  • If currently renting, two year history including location and name of landlord

Why this information is needed
Information ItemPurposeHow It's Used
Paystubs, W2's and tax returnsUsed to qualify you based on your year-to-date income.This calculation determines what you can afford to purchase.
Bank statements and assetsUsed to determine the strength of your assets.Allows the underwriter of your loan to make sure you have enough assets to complete the purchase transaction.
Driver's license and Social Security cardUsed to verify your identity.Protects you against identity theft. Verifies to the lender you are in fact the person applying for this loan.
Rental historyUsed to verify two-year history of residency.Also verifies your identity and provides proof of this residency for two years.

Questions to ask your lending officer

  • What kind of loan programs do you offer?
  • What are the down payment requirements?
  • How long is my pre-approval period before you need to re-pull my information?
  • What is the interest rate you are offering me? How did you arrive at this rate?
  • Is the quoted rate fixed or adjustable?
  • When can I "lock in" this rate? How long is the rate locked in?
  • What are my monthly payments? How did you arrive at these numbers?
  • Will you provide a "Good Faith Estimate" with the estimated closing costs?
  • Are there any prepayment penalties on this loan?
  • What is your timeline on completing this transaction?
  • Who will I communicate with throughout this process whenever I need assistance?

How much home can you afford?

Use these calculators to get a quick estimate of your buying capacity.

Affordability Calculator
Loan Estimator

Read more about the Borrowing Money article…