I want to buy a house, what do I do next?

So you’ve decided you are ready. There are many reasons why, but its time. You want to buy your first home. Or you want to move to the next home. Or it is time to declutter and downsize. That’s great. But what’s next? Or more importantly… what’s FIRST? Start packing? Probably not. Make an offer on that house you just saw? Again, you might be ahead of yourself. Usually the first step is to determine exactly what you qualify for. If you are someone who is already confident in your price range, then it’s still time to decide upon the appropriate loan program and then have a mortgage professional document that price range. Most real estate professionals prefer that you meet with your mortgage advisor first, and then start the search. That makes the entire process flow. Think of it as the “FOUNDATION” to your process. Much like any good home needs a solid foundation, so too does the House hunting process. And it starts with knowing what your situation looks like. And it helps to know what you qualify for, what lending choices you have, and ultimately what is the right Price Range for your goals. Well you’ve already checked off one task because you are here, reading this article. And you’re off to a great start. So where do we go from here? The process is not hard but it does have an order to it….

So what is the process:

Get Pre-Approved

To get pre-approved, we need a completed loan application and some basic income/asset information. Remember, we will get all the official docs later, for right now let’s make it easy. All we need is basic income info…. A Paystub or a tax return, a recent bank statement and any info about income, assets, or debts that you feel we should know. It is simple and free. Actually it could cost you if you’re not Pre-APPROVED.

Find a realtor and find a house. 

While there are instances where not having a realtor might work, we recommend that you have someone on your team that can be your advocate when it comes time to negotiate that deal. You rarely have to pay to have representation, but you likely will pay dearly if you don’t.

Be Educated. 

We offer Mortgage consultations that treat you as a unique individual. Just like a Doctor prescribing a treatment, we will suggest a few different plans that appear to meet the goals you have. Don’t get caught up in the one phenomena that seems to be sweeping the country. “I want it quick, I want it now, and I want it all done on my notebook, ipad, smartphone or tablet.” Make no mistake, the depths of quality information available today is impressive, but there is absolutely no substitute for real, live, reach out and touch them, mortgage professionals. Do your research on the web, look around, but you are about to purchase possibly the largest single item you will ever own. Why would you want to do that without someone RIGHT HERE, on your team, in your corner?   If it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.


Remember the above information is a GREAT starting point, it is not the finish line. We will guide you through the process. It is supposed to be fun. So enjoy it.


So what do you need?

Proof of Income

We will need one full month of income documentation so be sure and bring the appropriate number of stubs. It could mean one stub, it could mean four. If you are self-employed, tell us first. Self employment income is not difficult to calculate but it does require a few more pieces of paper. Sole proprietors, S Corps, and LLC’s all require different things.

Past Income    

We typically need to establish a 1 or 2 yr history and the most common method is by w-2’s. Depending on your specific loan, we will need either one or two yrs w-2’s. if self employed, we will ask for either one or two yrs signed federal tax returns for all appropriate types of self employment.

Proof of Assets

We will need to have proof of any downpayment and reserves required. The most common requirement is for two month’s deposit account statements. Note- If using internet statements, or transaction summaries, the document must have your name and account number on it.

Proof of Identification

Drivers licenses are most popular but passports and other photo ID’s may work.

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