There is no need to wait until being pre-approved to go house hunting. Although as a good rule of thumb, it is always better to wait until that happens, especially when living in a seller’s market and the competition among buyers is brutal.
Having a letter of pre-approval really puts some weight in your offer to buy a house, this is a clear way to tell the seller that you have the financing for your real estate property necessary to back your bidding.
In order to get pre-approved, you’ll need to verify certain things, like your income, assets, debts, employment, among others. Normally you may already have all these documents at hand, or at least, you’ll have easy access to them. Gathering all the necessary papers for a home or mortgage loan shouldn’t take more than a week, depending on a couple of factors. First, the requirements of the lender, and second, how many of those documents require the involvement of a third party, like hiring an attorney or visiting your local county office.
Even if it’s just for a pre-approval, a lender may ask for more documentation than usual, this applies especially if you are a self-employed worker, or you’re a freelancer with multiple income sources. You’ll also have to be willing to share personal information such as your social security number, don’t worry, they need it to verify who you are to check your credit records which is essential to get pre-approval, the name of your employer if you have one, your work’s address, and the date you started working.
Documents needed for pre-approval
Here is a comprehensive list of documents needed to apply for pre-approval, this is a nice way to check all the items you have at hand, focus on those you are missing, and finally submit your application to the lender in record time.
Your driver’s license
It will be required for every person involved in the loan. They will simply photo copy your license and that of any others to have on file.
Verification of employment and income
In order to be pre-approved for a mortgage the lender will have to be certain that you can actually afford a mortgage and if you can, how much. By providing proof of your income and that you have a stable job, lenders can then be assured that you will be able to financially handle taking on a mortgage.
If you are living in another home with plans of selling it or renting it to go live in your new home, you need to show the lender how much you are paying for that house. This goes to your DTI (debt to income) and it is a way for the lender to check for equity in your current property.
Bank statements. (up to date)
The lender will need to see all your current bank statements, from all your accounts.
- Pay Stubs
- Property Tax Bill
- Retirement or investment accounts
- Tax Returns
- W-2 Forms
- Profit and loss records
These are the most common documents the lender will request from you; however, this may vary depending on the lender’s policy. Be sure to find the lender for your mortgage by researching and getting the one that will fit your situation. If you are struggling and eligible, a cash-back mortgage may work for you.