Hassle-Free Home Loan Application: Essential Documentation for Getting Preapproved in SF

Situation: You’re ready to buy a home in San Francisco and you need to get preapproved for a mortgage.

Question: What will those pesky banks ask for (or what documentation is needed for a home loan application)?

When you are buying a home in San Francisco, one of the first steps is loan preapproval.
It’s time to assemble your team (Realtor and Mortgage Broker). Keep in mind that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the mortgage market. It’s absolutely crucial to work with a really good, reputable mortgage broker. Here is a list of trustworthy, local San Francisco mortgage professionals who can help figure out your accurate purchasing power in today’s market so you know exactly what you can afford in a home and how much it’s going to cost.
In order to get preapproved for a home loan, you’ll need to provide documentation and complete paperwork. Yes, this part is annoying but long gone are the days of the NINA (No Income, No Asset Verification) so you’re going to need to prove yourselves before getting the dough. It’s it amazing that, at one point in the not so distant past, you did not need to verify your income or assets to get a mortgage? And we wonder…
Thanks to our Team Zephyr Real Estate colleagues at Guarantee Mortgage, we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of the documentation you’ll need to get preapproved for a mortgage in San Francisco. Note: this is a general list so all items may not apply to you. Talk to you mortgage broker to find out the specifics for your situation.

To get preapproved, start compiling copies of the following to verify your income and assets:

  1. Employees:
    1. 2 most recent pay stubs
    2. W-2’s for 2008 and 2009 (or the past 2 years)
  2. Self-Employed, Independent Contractor or other alternative type of income earner
    1. Last 2 years’ tax returns
    2. YTD Profit and Loss Statement
  3. 2 most recent statements for any/all banking accounts, CD, money market, and/or securities brokerage accounts
  4. Most recent statements for all retirement accounts, (IRA’s SEP-IRA’s, 401-(k)’s or 403-(b)’s )
  5. Any and all 2008-2009 (or past 2 years) k-1’s partnerships returns (1065’s) and/or corporate or S-Corp, returns (1120’s or 1120-S’s)
  6. Mortgage, real estate tax and insurance premium statement for ALL properties currently owned
  7. Leases on ALL rental properties you may own
  8. Complete bankruptcy papers, if applicable
  9. Divorce decree and settlement statement, if applicable
  10. Name, address and phone number for your landlord(s) covering the past 24 months
  11. 12 most recent canceled rent payment checks or bank statement in your landlord is a private party
  12. Copy of your state issued driver’s license or passport and your date of birth to satisfy Patriot Act requirements
  13. If not a citizen: copy of resident alien card (front and back); resident alien application or H1B or L1 Visa Passport

That is a long list but keep in mind that not everything will apply to you. The concept of loan preapproval is to look at the full, accurate picture of your financial situation so you can figure out your purchasing power in today’s San Francisco real estate market.
When you know exactly what you can (and cannot) afford, we’re best able to be your trusted San Francisco Realtor and show you only the most relevant properties that meet your needs and budget whether that means a view condo at the Infinity or a starter condo at 555 Bartlett.
Looking only at homes you can afford will make you a savvier home buyer because you’ll fully understand pricing and market value specific to the homes in your price range. From this vantage point, you’ll know you are making smart, easy decisions for yourself!

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