Even if it’s not your very first home purchase in Berks County, you need to be prepared to provide your loan officer with what is required. Experienced homebuyers may also forget all the information that was provided and the questions asked. Before you get too far into the loan process, here are some questions you can bet your loan officer will ask.

Have you ever owned a home before?

First-time homebuyers may qualify for special loan programs in your area. In addition to down payment assistance, these programs may be offered by a local or statewide agency that assists first-time buyers in a variety of ways. It’s also important to recognize that most loan programs designate first time buyer status to those who have not owned a home in the past three years. 

Are You Self-Employed?

There is another question that might seem a bit out of left field, but it is very important. Self-employed individuals or those who receive income from sources other than their employers may need to complete some additional paperwork and processes. For example, you might be required to provide a year-to-date profit and loss statement, something an employee would not have. Business income tax returns for the last two years are required for self-employed individuals. In most such programs, a minimum two-year period of self-employment is required.

How Is Your Credit?

There are those who may think their credit has been damaged because of a recent late payment on their otherwise pristine credit report. In the event that there are any instances that need attention, explain them upfront and your loan officer will handle it. The way lenders view credit can sometimes be misunderstood, so don't make your own judgments. Lenders need to be aware of prior foreclosures and bankruptcy filings. 

How Much Do You Make Each Month?

While this is a relatively simple question, the lender may evaluate your monthly income differently than you do. Many applicants refer to their ‘take-home’ pay because that’s what shows up in the bank account each month. However, it’s the gross monthly income that appears on your paycheck stub that matters, not the net. If you’re not exactly sure how much you make each month, your paycheck stub is all you’ll need to answer that question.

How Much Money Do You Have Available For the Transaction?

Only the accounts used for the transaction are important. This account(s) will be used for not just the down payment and closing costs involved but also some money left over referred to as ‘cash reserves.’ Lenders want to make sure you have some money left over when all is said and done and not ‘zero out’ your accounts.

When Do You Want to Close?

For purchase transactions the close date is listed on the sales contract. That is if you’ve already made an accepted offer. It also lets the loan officer know how much time is available to meet the contract date. Many ‘escrow periods’ are for 30 days and there is a property picked out. This information lets the loan officer know when to begin ordering third party documentation to be done, but be ready to supply absolutely everything asked for in order to meet this deadline.

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