Choose Your Lender Carefully

Make sure that the lender you choose is experienced, trustworthy and reliable, because they will be with you for the duration. Here are some hints:

  • Ask people you trust, including your real estate agent, to refer you to a good lender.
  • Know your lender’s policies before you commit to working with them. See below for key questions to ask. If you have started working with a lender and are not satisfied, find another lender who can meet your needs.

What the Lender Wants to Know About You

You will want to obtain a pre-approval letter before you start your house search. In order to issue one, the lender will need to know the following:

  • An idea of the payment and/or sales price you are comfortable with. If you are not sure, the lender can determine the maximum loan for which you will qualify.
  • The amount of money available for the down payment and closing costs and the source of funds.
  • Employment and residence information for the past 2 years.
  • The gross monthly or annual income for all borrowers. You will be asked to provide documentation such as paycheck stubs, W2’s or tax returns.
  • You will also be asked to provide bank statements for all your bank and brokerage accounts, including retirement accounts, as evidence of your assets.
  • The lender will run your credit report and will need your social security number and date of birth.
  • Amount of alimony or child support you pay or receive and evidence of it.

What You Want from the Lender

  • The loan programs appropriate for your situation.
  • A good Faith Estimate showing down payment, estimated closing costs and the mortgage payment including insurance, taxes and homeowner’s association dues, if any.
  • Whether or not the loan has a prepayment penalty.
  • The different interest rate/point options. Points (also called “discount points”) are paid to obtain a lower interest rate. 1 point is 1% of the loan amount. Ask the lender to determine the “payback” time if you pay a point or a portion of one.
  • The lender’s lock-in policy. When can you lock in your rate? For how long can you lock in your rate? What happens if the rate expires?

The Pre-Approval Letter

The letter should state that you are fully approved contingent only on a satisfactory appraisal, clear title and no adverse change in your financial condition.  It should also specify the loan type, sales price, loan amount and interest rate.

Keep a copy of the letter and give the original to your real estate agent.

The pre-approval letter will be submitted with your offer to provide assurance to the seller that you are a serious buyer who has their financing lined up in advance.

You are now prepared to start looking for a home!

What We Need for a Home Loan Application:

The following documentation is needed to complete your loan application. Please make every effort

to provide these items so we can give you the quick answer that you want.

Basic Information:

o  Name, Social Security #, age, telephone #, addresses for the past 2 years, number & ages of dependents.

 Income Verification:

o  Name, addresses and phone numbers of employers for the past 2 years. Include start & end dates.

 Salaried Employees:

o  The past 1 month paycheck stubs and the past 2 years W2’s.

 Commission or Bonus:

 o  Documentation of what was paid in the past 2 years. If more than 25% of your income, bring past 2 years federal tax returns (all pages)

 Self-Employed:            

o  Bring past 2 years federal tax returns (all pages) PLUS year-to-date P&L statements. Include

1099’s if applicable. If you are incorporated, bring both personal AND corporate returns.

Child or Spousal Support:

o  Copy of court order or separation agreement AND documentation that funds have been received for the past 12 months.

Dividend/Interest Income:

 o  Copies of bank/security statements for past 2 months. 1099s and federal tax returns for past 2 years.

 Rental Income:

 o  Copies of signed current leases and federal tax returns (all pages) for past 2 years.

 Social Security:

o  Copy of award letter, W2 forms or federal tax returns (all pages).

 Retirement Income:

o  Copy of award letter, W2 forms or federal tax returns (all pages).

 Note Income:

o  Copy of signed note and federal tax returns for past 2 years (all pages).

Asset Verification:

Statements for most recent 2 months for ALL checking, savings, brokerage and pension accounts (all pages).

If you own other real estate:

Provide address, property type, market value, amount of liens(s), rental income, mortgage payments, annual taxes & insurance and lender.

If you are currently renting:

Name, address and phone number of landlords for the past 2 years.

If you are refinancing your home:

Name and phone number of property, insurance agent or copy of Declaration Page of your policy.

Bankruptcy:

If you have a bankruptcy that was discharged in the past 7 years, provide a letter explaining the circumstances leading up to the bankruptcy AND the filing (all pages) and discharge. My goal is to give you the best service in the most expedient manner possible. Your assistance in providing the required information is crucial to the process.

Thank you!