Documents Needed to Buy a Home
Gathering the paperwork and documents you’ll need to buy a house is a smart move, and it’s not as much work as you might expect—particularly when you know going in what you’re going to need. You’ll have an easier time with your mortgage during a stressful period, and that can go a long way toward getting off on the right foot, especially for first-time homebuyers. One of the main things, get your lender the items they request as soon as possible. Many of the delays in the mortgage process is not getting the proper documentation to your lender in a timely manner.
- Pull together any documentation on loans you already have, including student loans, car loans, credit cards especially anything that isn’t reporting to your credit.
- Lenders will want proof of income including at least two years of tax returns & W-2’s , recent paystubs, recent bank statements and proof of any other income.
Qualifying With a Lender
Some lenders might want to see documentation supporting any loans you currently have. This helps them nail down your debt-to-income ratio, an important factor in the mortgage approval process.
Think credit cards, car payments, and student loans. Your most recent statements should suffice if they include your outstanding balance and your required monthly payments, and they should show account numbers as well as the creditors’ names and addresses.
A lender will verify your employment to begin processing your loan. This is typically done with by sending them a verification of employment form, so give your employer a heads-up to expect this request for information. Ask your human resources department or boss to send requested documentation back right away.
Proof of Income
The lender will also want paperwork from you that supports your income, including current pay stubs. You can always scan that over to us or visit our office and we can make copies.
Lenders will also generally want the last two years of W-2 forms for both you and your spouse if you’re married. This is your wage and tax statement, issued by your employer for each calendar year, and it includes all information about your earnings, taxable benefits, and taxes that were withheld from your pay.
If you haven’t yet filed your federal tax return yet for last year, find the two previous years’ returns. Make copies, and be sure to include all schedules.
Make sure the tax returns are signed by you and dated.
Some lenders will want two months’ worth of bank statements, while others request three. Make a copy from each institution and include every page—even blank pages.
Make a copy of each asset statement if you own stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or retirement accounts. Lenders sometimes prefer hard copies over those you can print out online, but they’ll accept online statements if that’s how you receive your statements.
You’ll also need some version of a profit and loss statement if you’re self-employed, and two years’ corporate tax returns if you own an incorporated business.
You can bring your driver’s license with you for identification and reproduction if you’re meeting with the lender in person. Otherwise, copy your license on a scanner or copy machine and include it. Your license should include your photograph.
A reputable lender will gather all of this information upfront.
Make sure to supply this information to the lender upfront. A reputable lender will require it. Any lender that will issue a pre-approval without this is not doing you justice. The are running numbers based off the information you verbally give them, not what the actual documentation states. Going through a full pre-approval process will give you the peace of mind that you qualify for the price point your shopping in and it will also give everyone involved in the transaction the peace of mind that you are a committed and serious buyer, which can significantly increase the chances of your offer getting accepted.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of us here at SouthShore Region Mortgage. We truly make the home buying / refinance process simple.
SouthShore Region Mortgage
866-7REGION / 866-773-4466