We have officially started the mortgage process. Last week, Tim and I sat down and started listing off mortgage lenders we know to contact… and we both know quite a few. We decided to narrow it down to three: a small bank, a larger bank, and a mortgage company.
So far we have met with Lea Benson from Bristol County Savings Bank and Anne Borghesani with First Home Mortgage and they are by far the hardest working lenders in the industry. They have both worked with many ALANTE clients as well. We also plan on meeting with Rockland Trust, our personal bank who is a bit larger than Bristol County Savings.
While we know our credit is our credit, our income is our income and our debt ratio is our debt ratio, no matter which lender we talk to – it’s important to see what each lender is able to offer in terms of different loan programs. We have learned about special grants that one lender is able to offer, while another lender can offer programs such as USDA, all wonderful options for first-time home buyers. **Important to know – having your credit pulled multiple times may lower your score, keep that in mind when talking to lenders.
Before we scheduled our meetings, we asked what documents we would need to bring with us in order to apply for a loan. Some items we were asked to bring I wouldn’t have even thought of, so I am sharing the list with YOU! If you are thinking about buying a home this year, this is the PERFECT time of year to start to get organized, as most of these items you will be using to file your taxes. So get out that manila folder or dropbox account and start filing these items away!
Information Required at Your Loan Application
- Valid Photo ID
- Social Security Number
- Your Address (two year history) – landlord’s name & phone number
- Employment (two year history) – contact name of Employer, address & phone number
- Current month’s pay stubs
- W2’s (for the last 2 years)
- Last 3-months bank statements (all accounts)
- Current loans and credit cards – Names, account numbers, payments and balances
- Real Estate assets, if any – loan numbers, addresses, balances & monthly payments
- If you’re self-employed – most recent tax returns (2) and Profit & Loss year-to-date
- If you’re a first-time home buyer – 3 years of tax returns to verify you have not owned a home in the past 3 years
- Checkbook for fees
Although I’m in the real estate industry and work with mortgage lenders all the time, I am still very “green” in this area. I honestly didn’t even know what types of questions to ask! As first-time home buyers we were advised to purchase the book “Mortgages for Dummies.” Sounds funny, but it was not a bad recommendation at all! Every question we should ask and every answer we should know, especially as first-time home buyers, is in this book.
I know I’ve said this before, but as ANXIOUS as we are to actually go see some homes, it truly is the best idea to wait until we get an actual pre-approval. I would be the one who falls in love with a house to later find out we’re not even approved for that amount.
So now our next step is to patiently wait for our pre-approval and to read more of our new book. My best advice to you would be to start that list of lenders you’d like to reach out to and get organized! And definitely start looking into those first-time home buyer courses in your area, if you haven’t already. Completion of a certified course will get you a certificate for certain grants and other monies available. You can find more information about Plymouth’s seminar here.
Until then, thanks for reading!