As I've mentioned more than a few times, the first step for any buyer is to go through the pre-approval process. What is the pre-approval process you ask, and why is it the first step? Sure. Allow me.
Pre-approval is in essence a bank saying in writing, "We vouch for these folks, they have X amount of money to buy this house, and we are going to finance their loan." It's the first step in the process because it gives buyers a concrete idea of their max budget (based on how much they put down, interest rates and the type of loan product they select). In Chicago's fast market, it's also a first step because most sellers won't entertain an offer without a pre-approval letter from buyers.
To obtain a pre-approval letter, you'll need to find a lender--preferably one that you trust. With the new national lending guidelines now in place, working with a lender that knows what they're doing is more important than ever. Here are the documents you will need to provide your lender:
- Two most recent Pay Stubs (if applicable)
- Most recent bank statement for checking, savings and money market (all pages)
- 2014 and 2013 W2's, 1099's and Federal Income Tax Returns (all schedules)
- Most recent retirement and investments statements (all pages) - i.e. 401k, IRA, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, CD's, life insurance
- If you are expecting a gift from family, the amount are you expecting to receive
If you're thinking of buying and are looking for a great lender, please email me. I know good people.