How to find the right mortgage lender?
You’re just starting your search to purchase a new house - this is an exciting time! Before you schedule your first home tour, getting prequalified for a mortgage is an important first step - and currently required. You don’t have to think about it on your own - I am always here to help you.
Having years of experience on the market, I’ve learned how important a trustworthy and responsive mortgage lender is during your real estate story.
Here’s a checklist to get you on your way to buying the home of your dreams before you decide on the professional with whom you want to work with.
- Personal documents
You’ll need two forms of government-issued ID, your social security number, divorce papers if applicable, as well as proof of ownership of other property.
- Review your credit report
You should be able to do this free of charge. Be sure to dispute any errors or provide an explanation for late payments or derogatory items. Then, keep your credit score healthy by avoiding any new credit inquiries, canceling any credit accounts, or lowering limits with any creditors. Doing any of these things could lower your credit score.
- Tax returns
You’ll need to provide tax returns for the previous year, and potentially for the last two years.
- Proof of income
Gather W2s, paycheck stubs, 1099s, or a year-to-date profit and loss statement if you’re self-employed. You’ll also need to show other income sources such as Social Security, child support (and proof children’s ages), or government assistance.
- Proof of assets
Provide bank statements, mutual fund statements, account balances for retirement accounts, 401Ks, IRAs, and any money held in the stock market.
- Debt summary
You’ll need to provide a summary of your debts, monthly payment amounts, child support payments and balances for credit cards, student loans, car loans, other property loans.
- Financial issues
You may need to provide a written explanation if you’ve had bankruptcy, buying a second home, getting a gift, or other financial situations.
- Down payment and closing money ready
Have these funds ready in your bank account - no mattress cash. If you are receiving money as a gift, you might need to provide a bank statement and a letter from the gifter explaining the gift is not a loan.
Compile proof for the past year with canceled checks or money orders to show rent was paid on time. A recommendation letter from your landlord can go a long way, too.
- Mortgage pre-approval successful
Do some comparison shopping. A home is likely the largest purchase you’ll ever make, do your homework to ensure you get a competitive deal.
Applying for your first mortgage? Get in touch with me! I’d be happy to walk you through the process and help you find the mortgage lender you can trust.