Buying a new home in Atlanta may sound like a daunting task, but if you take it one step at a time, getting your perfect slice of the Big Peach is much simpler than you may imagine. Follow these simple steps and tried-and-true tips to get the house you want with fewer headaches and a seamless transition into your new home.
Also, don’t forget your paperwork. Below, I’ve provided a full list of the documents you’ll need to present a lender to get a mortgage.
1. Get pre-qualified: Before you start shopping for a home, find out how much you can afford with a prequalification. To start the process, call a loan consultant.
2. Gather financial records: To complete your mortgage application, you will need the last two years’ W2 forms, copies of Social Security cards and driver’s licenses, one month of paystubs and two months of bank statements. If you are on commission or self-employed, you will also need the last two years of tax returns.
3. Select your real estate agent: A real estate professional will be able to assist you in finding the best value for your money.
4. Find your dream home: Once you find the perfect home, your real estate agent will walk you through making an offer and signing a purchase agreement.
5. Avoid common mistakes: Before applying for a loan and during the loan process, don’t pay off bills; don’t move your money around and don’t make major purchases.
6. Finalize your mortgage plan: Once you’ve found your new home, it’s time to finalize your loan type. Loan consultants are specially trained to find the best loan for your specific needs.
7. Notification of loan approval: This means that you’re well on your way to owning a new home. Your loan consultant will contact you to discuss a closing date.
8. Schedule your closing: The closing appointment is typically held at the closing company/attorney’s office. Here, you will sign all final documents relating to your loan.
9. Have funds available: On closing day, bring all required documents to closing (i.e. driver’s license, proof of homeowner’s insurance, etc.) and a cashier’s check, money order or wire made payable to the closing company.
10. Closing day: Congratulations! Today is the day you become a proud homeowner. You can collect your keys and move in.
Documentation required by a lender for potential homebuyers:
- Social Security card, driver’s license and date of birth
- Residential addresses for the past 24 months
- If renting, provide name, phone number and addresses of your landlord(s)
- Employment history for each borrower for the past 24 months
Name, address and ZIP code of all employers
Dates of employment
- For VA loans only: Original Certificate of Eligibility, DD214 or Statement of Service
Personal: Past two years complete tax returns, all schedules, W2s, 1099s and K1s
Self-employed: Past two years complete tax returns and year-to-date-profit-and-loss statement
Most recent bank statements for past two months, including all pages, even if blank
Most recent investment statements for past two months including all pages, even if blank
Copy of HUD-1 settlement statement for recently sold home
Permanent incomeInterest, dividends or retirement statements for past two years
Award letters for Social Security
Award letters for retirement/pension incomes
Awards letter for disability
Rental income (provide one-year lease or agreement plus tax return)
Child support, maintenance or alimony (copy of divorce decree or court order)
Copy of signed home-purchase agreement, if applicable
Copy of earnest money check and proof funds have cleared the bank
Dan Quinnelly, branch manager with imortgage, is an Atlanta native with more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry, holding a license as a mortgage loan officer in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. He has a bachelor’s in business administration and real estate finance from Georgia State University and previously received the prestigious Platinum Award from the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.