Ready ... Set ... GO!
"Get Organized" and Ready to Buy a Home
Did you know that January is "Get Organized" (GO) month?
Every January, since the inception of "Get Organized" Month in 2005, the National Association of Professional Organizers has highlighted and promoted the many benefits that can be realized through the advancement of or organization and efficiency. Seeing to the elimination of chaos, clutter, and disorganization improves lives and mental health too.
Suggestions and even printables for organization and de-cluttering are everywhere. Pinterest is a great place to find multitudes of choices and guidance on each. (I provide a link to just one of the many available on that site here.)
But most, when considering organization, only think of it as it relates to homes or offices. Decluttering and organization, when it occurs, takes place during spring cleaning or prior to the sale of a home. Both are a commendable goal, but neither touches upon something that should be of huge concern to all of us. And that's ...
I can't tell you how many times I've had prospective borrowers step into my office (or contact me) with their finances in complete disorder and disarray. The important info needed during pre-approval or mortgage application misplaced, unavailable, missing.
Financial information and documentation should be easily available to us at all times, but organization becomes near mandatory during the period of time leading up to an Application for Mortgage and it continues throughout the financing process. If you're not organized, the act and experience of obtaining a mortgage is certain to be a painful one.
So, if you're thinking of buying a home (let's say anywhere from 6 months to a year or more in the future) what info and documentation should you begin to gather and organize prior to your first conversation with a loan officer?
I suggest you focus on the following during that important prep time:
- Immediately Check and then continue to monitor your Credit Report: Go to annualcreditreport.com - (Authorized by Federal Law) This website is a source of FREE Credit Reports.
- Seek referrals, search for, and then talk to a Lender/Mortgage Originator.
- Educate yourself regarding your Employment History: (Current and last 2 to 3 years minimally is most important)
- Income Level: Hourly Rate? Salary Level? Commissions? Bonus? Etc.
- Frequency of Pay: Weekly? Twice Monthly? Every 2 weeks?
- Know - Familiarize yourself with the items on my Mortgage Checklist. Start gathering this documentation as you move closer to Mortgage Pre-Approval/Mortgage Application.
1. Have major financial/debt issues occurred during the last 2 years?
A. Short Sale? Foreclosure? Bankruptcy? Judgement?
B. Know the exact dates of the event. Retain all paperwork pertaining to these events.
2. Know the amount of Re-occurring Monthly Debt from:
B. Credit Card(s)
C. Installment Loan(s)
- Down Payment/Savings:
1. Understand the AMOUNT of funds that can be liquid come the date of Closing.
2. If you have funds in a Retirement Account, identify the terms of a loan against or a withdrawal from a 401-K or IRA.
3. Avoid transferring/moving funds from accounts during the 60-days prior to Application.
4. Do NOT close any of your Accounts
- Gift Funds:
1. Gift Funds (in most cases) are perfect acceptable for Down Payment or Closing Costs, or both.
2. Know the details (how much, from whom, and when) the Gift Funds can be available.
3. Understand that any transfer of Gift Funds will need to be fully-documented if performed during the Contract Period or after Mortgage Application.
No doubt about it, there's a lot to know and do while you're seeking your mortgage financing. The more organized and educated you are, the more quickly and smoothly the process will flow.
So celebrate "GO" during the month of January and "Get Organized". De-clutter, re-arrange, organize, pitch, throw-away, contribute away. But don't overlook your finances. Gather and organize your bills, receipts, statements, documentation, and papers too.
* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in New Lenox or elsewhere in Chicagoland - IL - WI?
Contact Me! I'll put my 40+ years of mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at: