What are the steps to getting a mortgage? Shopping for a mortgage is the first step toward owning a home and perhaps the most daunting, especially if you are not prepared. Make no mistake, there's a lot involved in getting a mortgage loan. You wouldn't be here on our site if you could fill out a one-page application and get the best loan for you funded the same day.
Prior to the mortgage crisis that occurred around 2008, getting a mortgage was as easy as picking out a new coffee table for the gameroom. Now, it seems home buyers have to jump through rings of fire before they can sign on the dotted line.
Today, the first step in landing a home loan should be obtaining a letter of preapproval. This means a mortgage lender has confirmed that you are pre-approved for a mortgage of a certain amount over a fixed time frame and with certain other conditions.
Preapproval letters can be prepared even before you've picked out your home. They remove some of the uncertainty in home-buying process. In the current housing market, real estate agents and sellers generally don’t want to work with buyers unless they have one.
With a letter in hand, buyers know exactly how much they can borrow and therefore how much house they can afford. A preapproval letter shows the seller and the seller's agent that the buyer is capable of buying their house. For most sellers, the issue is not whether they can get an offer, but whether they can close the deal.
Agents see preapproved buyers as more serious (and more valuable) because they've taken proactive steps to secure a preapproval. When it's time to make an offer, a preapproved buyer will be in a better position to negotiate.
Here's what home buyers need to know about the new rules of mortgage preapproval.
Prepare your financial biography.
Getting preapproved means a lender must review and verify, among other things, a home buyer's income, credit and assets. Your lender should tell you precisely what you need, but be prepared to include:
• W2 statements (or 1099 income statements) for the last two years
• Federal tax returns for the last two years
• Business tax returns for the last two years (if self employed)
• Bank statements for the last few months
• The last 30 days of your pay stubs and proof of other income
• Proof of investment income
• A copy of your current property tax bill (if you are retaining your existing home)
• A copy of your current home owners insurance declaration page (if you are retaining your existing home)
To view the steps involved in the loan process click here.