Buying a home is both an exciting and stressful experience. You really want to focus your attention and efforts on finding the perfect property to meet your needs and deciding how you are going to fix it up and decorate it to make it your own. Unfortunately you have to weed through a mound of paperwork and legal protocol before you can pick out paint colors and shop for new furniture. There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the home buying experience, making the process smoother and getting you one step closer to focusing on all the fun stuff.
The first thing you need to do is prepare all of your financial documents and arrange them all in one convenient space. There's a good chance that your mortgage broker will ask you for a slew of documents at any moment so it helps to have them handy. Regardless of what bank you go through to get your mortgage loan you will probably need your tax returns from the past 2 years, statements from your savings and checking accounts, your 401k and any other investments and proper documentation of any money you receive as a gift for the purchase of your home.
One important step that often gets overlooked by new homebuyers is checking your credit score. Your credit report is very important in securing your mortgage and interest rate, so you will want to review it to ensure that it doesn't contain any errors. Mistakes are fairly common. In fact, 3 out of 4 credit reports contain errors, and that inaccurate information could be negatively affecting your score. So you must review your credit report prior to filing any paperwork with the bank.
Have all of your contact information handy, including your realtor, mortgage broker, real estate attorney and the village hall in your soon-to-be new hometown. This will allow you to communicate efficiently when anything comes up.
Finally, just try and relax. Unexpected issues are bound to pop up. If you keep all of the necessary info in order and try to remain level-headed throughout the process you should be just fine.