If you’re thinking about buying a house, congratulations! Interest rates are currently at historic lows, so it’s a great time. You’ve probably heard that purchasing a home can be quite a long process, but how do you start this process? If you will need a mortgage loan, you will first need to set up an appointment with a mortgage lender, but what do you need to bring to this appointment?
What do you need for a pre-approval?
Your first appointment with a mortgage lender will likely be for a pre-approval. This process is less in-depth than the actual mortgage application because you are not applying for a loan, you are just finding out how much you should be approved for when the time comes to apply. A pre-approval tells you the price range of houses you should be looking at. If you get a preapproval letter, it also gives you more buying power in a competitive market because the seller can trust that you are good for the amount you are offering. Generally, you will have to prove your income, employment, assets, and debts for a pre-approval. For this appointment, you will need to bring:
- Pay Stubs (from the past month or so)
- If you are self-employed: two years of Federal tax returns
- Bank statements (generally two months’ worth; include every page of each statement)
- Photo ID
- Your social security number
With your permission, your lender will also need to pull your credit for a pre-approval. The lender will use this credit verification when applying for the mortgage, as well.
What do you need to apply for a mortgage?
Once you’ve found the home you love, put an offer on it, and the seller has accepted your offer, the next appointment with you lender will be more in depth. This time, you will need more information so you can actually apply and be approved for a loan. Along with the documents you already provided for your pre-approval, the lender will also need:
- The type of mortgage you’re applying for (Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, etc.; the lender should explain these in depth in your pre-approval meeting)
- Information about the home you are purchasing (address, type of home, purchase price, etc.)
- Employment information for the past two years
- Purchase contract signed by buyer and seller (if there are realtors involved in the transaction, they usually take care of acquiring this)
- At least two years of federal tax returns
- At least two years of W-2’s
- Verification of other income (alimony, child support, etc.)
- Two to three months of statements for all accounts (bank accounts, investment accounts, loan accounts, etc.)
- If you are self-employed: profit and loss statement, list of business debts, income tax returns
- Other documents based on your lender’s request
Because each lender may ask for different documents depending on the institution and your individual situation, it is good to ask for a list of needed documents at least a few days in advance so you have time to gather them.
Ready to make an appointment with a mortgage lender?
If you’re looking for a friendly, knowledgeable mortgage lender to walk you through the mortgage process, Patriot has a team you will love! Call our mortgage department at 717-709-2580 to set up an appointment, either in-person or over-the-phone, today!