Stay organized during the homebuying process

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. It may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use many mortgage resources to guide you through the homebuying process and help you plan for the move into your new home.

Here are some tips to stay organized:


Keep track of where you’ve been—and what homes you like

As you search various homes, it’s easy to forget what features stood out to you. Did it have walk-in closets? A finished basement? Does it have enough bathrooms?

To help you remember the amenities of each house, it’s smart to use a homebuyer’s checklist (PDF). You can use it to keep detailed information about each property you see, including:

  • The location and style of home
  • Type of construction
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Features, such as fireplace, fenced-in yard and laundry room

This way, you can easily refer to your notes to recall if a house is a ranch or a two-story, has a deck or patio, or comes with an attached garage. You can also use checklists to rate the features, so you’ll know which ones you liked most. There are many smartphone apps, such as the My New HomeSM app, that can help you keep track of these items and allow you to rate homes and store photos.


Have your paperwork together, so you’re ready to apply for a mortgage

You’ll need to collect several documents when you apply for a mortgage. Gathering those now will save you time later. Mortgage lenders usually need:

  • All pay stubs for the past month
  • W-2 tax statements from the past two years (if you’re self-employed, you need two years personal and business taxes)
  • Bank or investment statements for the past three months
  • The home purchase contract between you and the seller

View the mortgage application checklist (PDF) for more information on the paperwork you must provide. Your Mortgage Banker may ask you to supply or fill out other documents, too, and will work with you if additional items are needed. You should also think about how to best store your documents, such as in an envelope or tabbed binder that fits legal-sized papers, for easy access.


Get ready to move into your new home

It’ll take some time to prepare for your big move, especially since you’ll be closing on your new home about the same time.

Don’t rush it. Make sure you plan properly, so you have time to do it right and don’t miss or break anything along the way.

Use this moving timeline (PDF) to organize your move. It has hints for what to start packing from six weeks out right up to moving day. Plus, there are reminders you may have not considered, such as filling out a change of address form, notifying your children’s old and new schools and transferring prescriptions to a new pharmacy.

Make purchasing and moving into your new home as stress-free as possible with these checklists and guides.

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