Home Buyer’s Guide

So you thinking about buying a home. That’s terrific! We’ve put together some helpful information in this Home Buyer’s Guide for you. There’s a lot of information available here and it may feel a little overwhelming but be rest assured that it’s not as some of it may not even apply to you but it’s here just in case.  You may need to read it in a couple of sittings but it will be well worth it for you in the end as it will prepare you for getting the home you want.

After you get done, take a look at all the Homes for sale in our market. Who knows you may just find the one you’re looking for. Thanks for taking a look and let us know how else we can help you.

The Home Buying Process – A 5-Step question process to help you think about what you need to do to purchase and close on a home.

Step 1 – You should determine for yourself is now the right time to purchase a home?

 How long are you planning on living in your next home?
 Consider the benefits/drawbacks to owning a home.

Step 2 – Get preapproved for a mortgage: This will help you determine your costs involved and give you buyer negotiation power.

 How much can you afford?
 What are the different loan programs available? (FHA, VA, Conv. USDA)

Step 3 – Find your dream home: Make a list of what your top 5 priorities are in a home.

 What kind of home do you want? (Detached, Attached, etc.)
 How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
 Are school districts important?

Step 4 – The escrow process: This is what happens after you get a home under contract with a seller.

 The home inspection
 Reviewing disclosures
 Ordering the appraisal
 Securing financing

Step 5 – Closing: It’s closing day.  Time to get your new home.

 The final walkthrough
 Schedule the move
 Changing over utilities


What you will need as you prepare for the Lender in order to get the loan for your home.

Personal Information

  • Full names of all purchasers as they are to appear on the title.
  • Social security numbers of all purchasers.
  • Present residence address for all purchasers.
  • Previous address for all purchasers going back two years if they have not resided in the present home for two years.
  • Home, office, cell phone numbers.


Employment Information

  • Present Employer: Name, address and contact person to send employment verification form.
  • Explanation for any gap during 2-year history
  • Relocation letter for any transferees – giving date, salary, new location, and any relocation benefits.
  • Previous Employer: Name, address, and a contact person going back 2 years if not in present job 2 full years.
  • Present Salary: Year to date pay stub and last 2 years’ W-2’s
  • If any viable income, commission, part-time income, bonus, overtime, interest income, etc., is being used to qualify: 2 years’ signed federal individual and corporate returns (if applicable). Also a profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
  • Diploma or transcript if student during 2 year period.


Other Income

  • Rental Income: Copy of lease which is current and at least one year in length.
  • Alimony and child support (only if used for qualification): copy of divorce decree and property settlement (ratified setting out terms. Proof of payment will also be requested at application.
  • Income from notes held: A copy of the ratified note.
  • Retirement, Social Security and Disability Income: copy of award letter and latest check showing the amount of present payment. Copy of end of year statement if applicable.



  • Bank Accounts: Name of bank, address, account numbers, types of accounts, and present balances. With checking, use average balances.
  • Copy of two most recent statements of all accounts.
  • Stocks and Bonds: Copy of certificates or a copy of recent (within 30 days) broker statement listing the holdings.
  • Life Insurance: Cash value, only if being used for down payment.
  • Vehicles: Year, make, and value.  Copy of title if under 4 years old with no outstanding liens.
  • Real Estate: Address and market value.  If free and clear, deed of release, deed or mortgage payoff.
  • Present Home: Copy of sales contract, settlement sheet and/or lease.
  • Gift Letter: Form will be provided by the financial representative.  Donor Capacity must be verified.  Receipt of funds must be shown in an account.



  • Credit Cards:  Account numbers and outstanding balances.
  • Loans (Auto, Mortgage, Personal, Student, etc.):  Name of institution, address, account numbers, outstanding balances, monthly payments, months left on loan.  Copy of next payment coupon.  12months’ statements or canceled checks for your present mortgage.
  • Alimony and Child Support:  Copy of Ratified Decree and property settlement setting out terms.


VA Loans

  • Certificate of Eligibility:  To obtain a certificate, you will need a DD-214 (Separation of Service) or if in the Service, you will need a Statement of Service signed by Commanding Officer of Personnel Officer (certificate must be updated prior to application).
  • If in service, you will need The Authorization to Live Off Base (DD-1717 from Housing Office) and Transfer Orders (if applicable).


If you need assistance with finding a lender who can possibly help you, please let us know as we work with several great lenders in our area that may be able to help.