If your plan for 2015 is to purchase your first home or a vacation property, your course of action should start long before you view the first listing. The mortgage process is challenging for even the most seasoned buyers, so preparation is key to the overall plan.
Mortgage rates are holding steady but experts predict this trend will change by year's end. A Realtor will ask for a pre-approval letter prior to scheduling any listing appointments. This letter is an important step in the process but is not a commitment or binding in any way. The documents needed to start the process are tax returns, W-2 statements, pay stubs, bank statements, social security numbers and often, proof of employment. You may be asked to provide these documents once you apply for a mortgage, so keep the file organized and accessible. If you are searching in a resort location for a vacation home, the lender may ask if it is a rental or if you will rent the property.
The internet is a great resource for information regarding mortgage rates, etc., but speaking on the phone or meeting in person with a lender is important as well.