Ready ... Set ... GO! "Get Organized" and Ready to Buy a Home

Mortgage and Lending with NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 IL Lic 031.0006220/WI



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 ...


Our finances.


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 - (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. 


  • Credit/Debt:  

     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:

     A.  Mortgage(s)

     B.  Credit Card(s)

     C.  Installment Loan(s)


tudent 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:


Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. #031.0006220 - WI Licensed
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell/Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281
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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator,  40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin. 


Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated! 




Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jeff Dowler, CRS 01/18/2018 02:32 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 01/21/2018 02:00 AM
  3. Joan Cox 04/05/2018 06:55 AM
Home Buying
Illinois Will County New Lenox
Chicago Area Real Estate BUZZ!
Consumer Mortgage Tips
mortgage documentation
mortgage checklist
organization and preparation
mortgage advice and tips
preparation to buy a home
home buying advice and tips
benefits of organizing and decluttering

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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Gene... I posted early in the month about getting one's home and office organized for the new year... but had no idea that the month of January was actually designated as a GO month... I'm all about keeping things organized and orderly.

Jan 16, 2018 12:40 PM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a wonderful post giving a great guidance to what has to be done.  I am glad to see it featured, and I hope many read it.  Well done, A

Jan 16, 2018 04:10 PM #2
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

Gene, I am busy organizing myself. Appreciate all of your timely tips and advice. 

Jan 16, 2018 05:20 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Gene - what a great post on getting organized and I too am glad that it was featured!!!You've offered some wise tips. 

Jan 16, 2018 05:44 PM #4
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

How did I NOT know that January was Get Organized month????

Great advice here Gene! I love that you got into the financial aspect!

Jan 16, 2018 06:28 PM #5
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Gene,

Great ideas. People who organize are just too lazy to look for stuff.

Jan 16, 2018 07:36 PM #6
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN
I Move You Home

This is where Realtors think differently than lenders. Lenders don't understand how people can live with their finances stuffed in a drawer.  Everyone stresses out over qualifying for a loan, or why there is so much paperwork. I've had to stop lenders mid-sentence asking them to explain in simple English what they want to the buyer to do.  I even wrote a blog on "How Not to Screw Up Your Own Closing," because a lender telling them once was not enough.

Jan 16, 2018 08:07 PM #7
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

These are very good tips on things buyers should do before looking for homes.

Jan 17, 2018 02:58 AM #8
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

To find someone that can command this lender/loan subject when looking for a home is part of the joy and of course the end result. Now, get a good agent, begin the house-hunting or conclude it & start packing!

Jan 17, 2018 07:23 AM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank  you for the information that January is get organized month. I agree this is a good month for financial planning.

Jan 17, 2018 08:07 AM #10
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Gene - love your post! I'll forwrad to a buyer who wants to purchase by summer :) 

Jan 17, 2018 07:36 PM #11
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gene

I was not aware that January was Get Organized Month, but it's certainly a good time to start, and carry it through the rest of the year. I imagine there are plenty of borrowers who find getting a mortgage terribly painful because they are not organized around their finances!

There are some great tips here! I can think of several people that I know who should read this!


Jan 17, 2018 10:04 PM #12
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

I like it  GO! I had no idea January was Get Organized month.... Lord knows I need that.  another wonderful post!!!

Jan 18, 2018 12:00 AM #13
Golden1 Agents
San Mateo, CA

Thanks for sharing.

Jan 18, 2018 03:54 AM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share. 

Have a great day and a lovely weekend.

Jan 20, 2018 03:21 AM #15
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Wise advice especially in a Sellers market where decisions have toade very quickly, being a good scout and being prepared is mandatory.

Jan 21, 2018 03:51 AM #16
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Gene - you really made an excellent point.  I really think that organization in your spaces also leads to organization in your life, career, and finances.

Jan 21, 2018 05:42 AM #17
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Gene, it is still January and plenty of time to Get Organized.

What a great source of information you are!!

This is super information to help consumers get in a good position to buy a home.

Jan 22, 2018 11:49 AM #18
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience
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