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How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage Home Loan in San Francisco

September 6, 2023

How To get Preapproved for a Mortgage Home Loan in San Francisco

As San Francisco Realtors for over 20 years, this is not our first rodeo creating a guide on getting preapproved for a mortgage home loan in San Francisco. However, the following information about how, why, and what you need to be preapproved for a mortgage in SF is always critical for San Francisco homebuyers!

In the current real estate market, getting preapproved for a mortgage is a crucial step in the home buying process. It not only gives you a clear understanding of your purchasing power but also makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers. Right now, SF Bay Area real estate is experiencing a shortage in homes for sale, meaning buyers need every edge they can get to win the most desirable properties.

Below, we'll discuss the documentation needed for a home loan application and provide some tips to make the process smoother, to help you buy the San Francisco home you want. As always, if something else is on your mind, we are here to answer your real estate questions. Click here to contact us any time.

Now, onto getting preapproved for a mortgage in San Francisco.

The Importance of Getting Preapproved Mortgage: San Francisco Realtor Tips

Loan preapproval is one of the first steps to buying a home in San Francisco. When you feel like you’re ready to buy, it's time to assemble your team, which includes a Realtor and Mortgage Broker.

It's important to remember that the mortgage market can be complex and opaque or even deceptive at times. Partnering with a reputable mortgage broker is of paramount importance. If you do not yet have a lender whom you trust, we are happy to recommend you to vetted, locally based San Francisco mortgage professionals who can help determine what you can comfortably afford in today’s market.

Documentation Required for Mortgage Preapproval in San Francisco

Securing preapproval for a home loan requires you to provide a range of documents and complete certain paperwork. While this may seem tedious, it's a necessary step in today's financial climate. The era of No Income, No Asset Verification (NINA) loans is behind us, meaning you'll need to provide concrete proof of your financial standing to secure a loan.

(Is it not insane that there was a time you didn’t have to prove your finances to get a loan? 🤪 No wonder 2008 happened…)

Preapproval Document Cheat Sheet

Here's a handy guide to the documents you'll likely need to gather for your mortgage preapproval in San Francisco.

For Employees:

  1. Two most recent pay stubs
  2. W-2’s for the past 2 years

For Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, or Other Alternative Income Earners:

  1. Last 2 years’ tax returns
  2. Year-to-Date Profit and Loss Statement

For All Applicants:

  1. Two most recent statements for all banking accounts, CDs, money market, and/or securities brokerage accounts
  2. Most recent statements for all retirement accounts (IRA’s, SEP-IRA’s, 401-(k)’s or 403-(b)’s)
  3. Any and all K-1’s partnerships returns (1065’s) and/or corporate or S-Corp returns (1120’s or 1120-S’s) from the past 2 years
  4. Mortgage, real estate tax, and insurance premium statement for all properties currently owned
  5. Leases on all rental properties you may own
  6. Complete bankruptcy papers, if applicable
  7. Divorce decree and settlement statement, if applicable
  8. Name, address, and phone number for your landlord(s) covering the past 24 months
  9. 12 most recent canceled rent payment checks or bank statement if your landlord is a private party
  10. Copy of your state-issued driver’s license or passport and your date of birth to satisfy Patriot Act requirements
  11. If not a citizen: copy of resident alien card (front and back); resident alien application or H1B or L1 Visa Passport

Remember, this is a general list and not all items may apply to your specific situation. Your mortgage broker will be able to provide more tailored advice.

Making Informed Decisions: The Role of Your Top San Francisco Real Estate Agent

With a clear understanding of your financial situation and comfort zone for buying, we can collaborate more fully as your trusted San Francisco Realtor, guiding you towards properties that align with your needs and budget.

+ Read how we helped our client win their perfect home despite some major challenges in this Homebuyer Case Study: Beating the Odds (and SVB Implosion) to Buy the Perfect Home in San Francisco 

By focusing on homes within your budget, you'll become a more informed home buyer, gaining a deeper understanding of pricing and market value specific to your price range. This knowledge empowers you to make smart, confident decisions.

As always, if you have any questions about the local market or need assistance at any stage of your home buying journey, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you navigate this complicated, exciting San Francisco Bay Area real estate market!

Click here to contact us.

In the meantime, sign up for our Vivre Real Estate newsletter and stay up to date on all things SF Bay Area real estate, market insights, and curated selections of events and other stuff we love around town. We respect your privacy and never share your information with third parties. Sign up below and talk soon!

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