Mortgages 101 – The Checklist for Home Buyers

first time home

The enormity of a mortgage can easily become overwhelming. There are tons of tasks to complete, endless questions to ask and answer, and documentation that you’ll need to provide. We’ve laid out a checklist for you below to give you the lay of the land keep you on track to close your loan! 

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  • Find a reputable lender to work with. One that has low rates/costs great reviews. THAT’S US!
  • Make sure your credit score is in good shape – the better the credit score, the better the rate.
  • Gather documentation – See below for list
  • You will apply for a loan and the loan officer will ask questions to determine your situation and provide you with a rates and costs. Please note every situation is different.
  • On purchase transactions – Realtors will feel more comfortable if you come to them with a pre-approval certificate and sellers are more inclined to strongly consider your offer with a pre-approval – any loan officer can provide you one.
  • Questions to ask your lender:
    • What is the interest rate?
    • What are the closing costs?
    • Are there any points/origination fees associated with the loan?
    • How long will I be locked in for?
    • Do you handle everything in house or send out for underwriting?
    • How quickly can you close?
  • Get your documentation to the lender quickly – that keeps the process moving.
  • Lock your loan or let it float/watch the market.
  • Review your loan estimate for accuracy (this document contains the interest rate and closing costs you discussed with your loan officer)
  • Sign your loan docs as soon as possible and provide any remaining documentation requested by the lender.
  • You will be getting a loan approval subject to conditions, provide those as soon as possible to your lender.
  • Once all conditions have been satisfied, your loan will be cleared for closing and scheduled to closing.
  • Review your closing disclosure to ensure accuracy.


  • Driver’s license or Passport
  • Home address covering a 2 year period
  • Name and address for employers covering the most recent 2 year period and dates of employment
  • Most recent 2 paystubs
  • W2’s for most recent 2 years
  • Tax Returns – for self-employed, retired individuals, owns rental properties (other scenarios may apply)
  • Two months bank and/or asset statements to verify funds for closing/reserves
  • Current mortgage statements. If you do not escrow then you will need tax bill/insurance bill/proof of monthly condo fee.
  • Divorce/Separation agreement if applicable
  • Purchase and Sales agreement and copies of checks you put down on signing offer and Purchase contract. (if a purchase transaction)