There isn’t anything fun about allowing someone to look into your finances and then have them decide whether or not you are good enough with money to have them lend it to you. It can also be fairly stressful to sit down with your spouse and go over money together. But it’s important. I highly recommend David Bach’s book, Smart Couples Finish Rich. These are fairly straight forward ways to communicate with your spouse about money.
If you learn how to deal with money along the way, that works too. The important thing is that you do it together and you communicate. I’m not particularly new age but I’m a huge believer in communication. All of the biggest mistakes and fractured relationships/friendships have come around being an inefficient communicator.
So…back to the money thing. It costs a lot of money to buy a house. Even a relatively inexpensive house. So you have to budget. You also have to get pre-approved for a loan. Because my wife only worked half of fiscal year 2016 and I was still finding my way as a Realtor(R), we didn’t make much money. That means that we have to get our 2018 taxes done ASAP so that we can show that we have 2 years of steady income and growth.
Regardless of who you choose to work with as a lender, there is basic information that you need to submit:
- W2’s for the past two (2) years (or 1099’s if you are self employed);
- Tax returns for the last two (2) years
- Paystubs for the last 30 days
- 2 months checking/savings statements
- 401(k), IRA information
- Copy of a CDL (or resident alien card & social security card if not US citizen)
And then there are several miscellaneous documents that you may have to provide if you are getting a VA loan, or if you are retired and downsizing, etc. The lender will also look through your credit report. There may be items that you have to pay off as a condition of the loan.
I intend to go through the entire underwriting process prior to submitting an offer. This will make our offer that much stronger when it comes down to it. Unfortunately we have already missed out on our (current) dream house: 773 Huntington Drive. There were multiple offers submitted last week and we weren’t one of them. The one thing that I have learned over the past few years is that we will find the right home for us when we are absolutely ready. It may take more time than we’d like, but if we are patient…and savvy…we’ll get there.