If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Tampa Bay area, you may already know that you should have a mortgage pre-approval letter in-hand before you begin your search for the right home. Aside from smoothing the home buying process, preapproved financing gives you the benefit of knowing which mortgage is best for you—as well as what your budget is.
So what documents do you need for mortgage preapproval?
Gathering Documents for Mortgage Preapproval
In order to get preapproved for a mortgage, you’ll need to provide every detail about your income, assets and debts. Your lender will look at your credit reports as well, so it’s a good idea to know your credit score before you begin.
The exact documentation required to pre-approve a home loan will vary by lender. The documents you’ll need will include, but may not be limited to:
- Two years’ worth W-2 forms
- Two years’ worth of federal tax returns
- Your most recent pay stubs; often two but sometimes more
- All bank account activity for the past 60 to 90 days
- Investment account activity for the same period
There may be other required documents, depending on your financial situation. If you have annuity payments, rental properties or other income streams, you’ll be required to show proof. If there’s been a divorce or bankruptcy, your lender will ask for your divorce decree or bankruptcy discharge.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need other documents, as well. (See “Self-Employed? Here’s What You Need to Know to Get a Mortgage.“)
Documenting Your Down Payment
It’s important to note that you’ll need to provide proof of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Undocumented funds will not be counted, so it’s important for all cash in your accounts to have a paper trail. Your lender will scrutinize any large cash deposits, so make sure to deposit your “mattress money” into your bank accounts as early as possible after deciding to purchase a home.
If you’re using cash gifts from relatives, your lender may ask for notarized letters stating that the money is a gift with no obligation for repayment. Your lender will most likely not allow you to use borrowed money for your down payment.
Are You Looking for a New Home in Tampa Bay?
Call us at 727-584-8480 or 813-961-6000. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online. We’ll begin searching for your new home right away.