While qualifying for your first home mortgage isn’t necessarily difficult, it does take time, patience and paperwork. But we’re here to take away the guesswork.
Take a look at our helpful checklist below. This essential list explains the steps you’ll need to take in order to obtain your first mortgage for buying your first home.
So go ahead. Give it a look, print it out and put it to the test.
It seems obvious, but lenders need to know that you are who you say you are. They need to know that you’re opening a line of credit in your name, not someone else’s. This helps eliminate mortgage fraud for yourself and others, as well as guarantee that you’re personally on the hook for what you promised.
Lenders typically review two months’ worth of recent bank statements to ensure you have the necessary funds to cover the down payment and closing costs. Basically, they need to verify how much money you have and how you acquired it. However, some loan products are different and ask for a different percentage of down payment (specifically, VA and some USDA loans that don’t require a down payment).
For better or worse, your tax returns give lenders a clear picture of your overall financial health. They help determine if you’ll be able to make your mortgage payments each month. This process also helps lenders see what other financial obligations you might have (auto, personal or student loans, for example). While this might seem like a lot to ask, a good way to remember what documentation you’ll need is the 2-2-2 rule: two years of W2s, two years of tax returns and your two most recent pay stubs. Easy!
If you’re looking to buy a home with a mortgage, it’s only fair that the lender checks out the property, too. They evaluate your ability to repay the loan, of course, but they also ensure that the property is insurable, habitable and meets necessary guidelines. This applies for both mortgages and loan refinances.
If you’re self-employed or have other sources of income such as child support, alimony or VA benefits, you may need to show proof through 1099 forms, direct deposits or other means. But just remember, documentation of every source of your income is crucial to obtaining your mortgage.
That’s it. We understand it sounds like a lot, but it’s the standard. Be sure to print the checklist (using the link below) and rely on it as your comprehensive guide to obtaining a mortgage.
If you’re looking for guidance beyond this checklist, reach out to one of our loan officers to start talking about a mortgage for your future home. We’re here to help you every step of the way.