Documents You’ll Need to Buy a Home

(photo credit: paskov,

Congratulations! You’ve found a home, and you’re ready to buy it! After your offer is accepted, you should speak with your lender to find out what your next steps are. The first thing you’ll need to do is to send over several important documents so they can begin the process of preparing your loan.

Having the right documents for your lender ahead of time can ensure that your home buying process is started quickly. The longer it takes you to collect and send everything, the longer it will take them to start the process, which could mean a delay of closing for you.

Here are a few of the documents that you should have ready to go when you decide to buy a home:

  • Two forms of legal identification
  • Last 2 pay stubs for your current place of employment
  • Bank statements for the past two months
  • Documentation and a letter of explanation for any large deposits or monetary gifts in your bank accounts
  • Federal tax returns from the past one to three years (depending on your situation)
  • W-2s from the past two years (if there’s a gap in your employment, you’ll need a written explanation)
  • Any paperwork involving a bankruptcy, obligations due to legal actions (child support, alimony, etc.), or collections

Depending on your personal situation, your lender might need additional information. Timing is everything with the home buying process. After submitting an offer on a home, the most important thing for a homebuyer to do is to find out exactly what a lender needs and to provide them with that information as soon as possible. Nothing can start until all of the necessary documents have been submitted.

I’ve seen several closings delayed because buyers didn’t understand that the documents are required before anything else can happen. Don’t let it happen to you!


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