Be prepared when you buy. Buying a house? Three steps, first get READY. Gather up all of the paperwork needed, this includes: W-2's for the past two years, most recent pay stubs covering the last 30 days, 12 months' mortgage payments reciepts or cancelled checks Last 2 months' bank statements of all checking, savings, and asset accounts and names, addresses and account numbers for all creditors. Second get SET! Call a mortgage lender (or more than one) and find out over the phone what they can do for you. Make an appointment with your favorite lender so you can present your paperwork and get your financing ready. This is not scary or confusing, in fact, it's one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. That pre-qualification from your lender is the best negotiating tool you will have for the price of a home. Third...Now, GO!! A real estate agent will be thrilled to have a pre-qualified buyer. Expect the red carpet treatment because you earned it!