The first step to buying a home is getting pre-approved for your loan.

Of course, the pre-approval is not a binding loan approval for an unlimited amount of time, but gives you an idea of what you can afford in a house for a duration of approximately 90 days.

If anything radically changes in your financial history, the final approval can be a challenge.

Who gives a loan pre-approval?

There are many sources to contact for a home loan or mortgage. Your real estate agent is the first one to contact. Perhaps he/she knows several sources and can give you a referral. It’s always best to interview them and make the decision on your own. You can also contact banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers and mortgage companies to source a home loan.

Be prepared.

The best advice is to be prepared with the documents that you will need to provide prior to your loan pre-approval. Here’s a list but your mortgage officer will provide a detailed list that would take precedence over any other list. If there will be a co-borrower, their information will be required, too.

  • Addresses of your previous apartments/condos or homes for the last two years.
  • Copy of both sides of your driver’s license.
  • Federal tax return for the last two years.
  • W-2’s for the last two years.
  • Names and addresses of your employers for the last two years.
  • Your last two pay stubs. They should include your year-to-date earnings.
  • Social Security number.

And your financial background.

  • Last two months statements for all checking and savings accounts.
  • Addresses and values of other real estate owned. Name, address and account numbers of mortgage holders for the properties.
  • All credit card names, account numbers, and payment amounts on all cards.

A few more items.

  • The individual value of all of your personal property.
  • Divorce decree if applicable.
  • Letters of explanation for any credit report discrepanciies.
  • For a VA loan, Certificate of Eligibility required.

The most important to remember is to avoid the following:

  • Changing Jobs.

  • Making large purchases.

  • Changing banks.

  • Paying off credit cards unless told to do so.

All of this information is provided through First American Title in Scottsdale, Arizona.

If you have any questions regarding this process, feel free to contact me at or you can call or text me at 602.703.6589.