The First Time Home Buyer’s Guide
You’ve decided to take the plunge and look for a home of your own. As a first time home buyer, where do you start? As with any other major financial venture, it’s important to consult with experts. Once you’ve decided to work with United Mortgage Plus, choose a real estate agent and we can get started. We will get to know you and set your goals, and will work with you as a team to help you to reach those goals. With professionals helping you, you’ll learn as you go, knowing that your best interest is being considered at all times.
The first step in the pre-approval process is the choice of a loan officer (that’s us!) with whom you can communicate easily. A good loan officer will ask questions and will care about meeting your expectations and needs. An important piece of the pre-approval is gathering documentation and providing it as soon as possible. Talk to us about the best way to get your information to us quickly and securely. The more you provide at the beginning, the less likely you are to have any surprises along the way! With some possible changes depending upon your circumstances, here is a list of the basics you’ll want to have ready:
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– Photo ID
– Most recent one month of pay stubs
– Most recent 2 months of bank statements, all pages
– Most recent 2 years of w-2’s
– Most recent 2 years of Federal tax returns, all schedules (not your state return)
– Information about any other real estate you may own
– Mortgage statement
– HOA coupon
– Property Tax record
– Hazard Insurance statement
– Lease agreement (if rental property)
– A full two year history of your residence and your employment
Some Things To Know:
One of the criteria lenders look at when evaluating the likelihood that an applicant will repay a loan is “character”. Does this person take responsibility for debts owed? This “character” is evidenced by past history, shown on the credit report. Besides timely payments, there must also be enough credit history, typically two years’ worth and a minimum of three accounts.
The Lender will want to be certain that you are not over-extending yourself with total monthly expenses. Ideally, all of your monthly debt repayment added to your new housing expense won’t exceed 43% of your gross income. If you would like to sit down with us to go over your debts and budget, just ask!
With most mortgage programs, you will need a down-payment and closing costs. Sometimes you may be asked to show reserve funds as well (money you don’t spend, but that you could access in an emergency; a retirement account may satisfy this.) Your bank statements will be reviewed not only to see how much you have available, but to see where it’s received from. If your bank account has grown as a result of saving from your paychecks, or from a legitimate and documented gift, that’s fine. But if you deposited “green cash” in the account, there could be a problem, so allow the loan officer to see those statements to be sure all is fine!
Some borrowers are surprised to learn that not all of the money they receive from their employer is considered when being qualified for a loan. If you have been on your job for less than two years, any overtime or bonus income might not be added in; only the base salary will be used. The same may be true for commission income. Also, if you work very hard at a part-time job so that you can save up for your home, that savings is counted, but the income won’t be used in your debt-to-income ratios (remember the 43% limit we were hoping for?) unless you have had that part-time job for two years. Be sure to have a clear conversation with the loan officer about all of your income so that we don’t count on income that can’t be used in the calculations.
For more information, visit our Client Resources page