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First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Checklist

First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage checklist

The following first-time homebuyer mortgage checklist will help get you started on the road to your new home because the primary thing you need to focus on is qualifying for a mortgage, since youll need to know how much house you can afford. Being pre-qualified also shows sellers that youre serious about finding your new home!


  • Qualifying Income Must have 2 years of income history to qualify
    • W2, self-employed or 1099 employee NOT bonus
    • Self-employed? Net income = Qualifying income
    • Not self-employed? Gross income = Qualifying income
  • Rental Income Must have 2 years of rental income history to qualify
  • Other forms: Social security, commission, car allowances, child support, interest and dividend income. Be sure to see a mortgage professional for additional forms that may qualify.


  • Different loan programs have different requirements
    • FHA Loans: Can be approved with a credit score of 580
    • Conventional Loans: Requires a credit score of 620 Most lenders require a 640 credit score
  • Good credit profile = Better rates Anything over 740 is considered excellent
  • Factors that weigh on your credit score: Payment history, outstanding credit balances, credit history, debit/credit ratio, type of credit, and inquiries.


The following assets may be resources for your down payment and must be verified by your lender:

  • Savings/Checking account
  • IRAs, thrift saving plans, 401(k) and Keogh accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Savings bonds
  • Gift funds
  • Sale of personal property
  • Downpayment assistance programs
  • Sale of real estate
  • Collateralized loans
  • Disaster relief grants and loans
  • Employer assistance programs

Approximately 5% of your down payment must come from the buyer on conventional loans.


  • Employment history of at least 2 years
  • Education counts as history
  • Self-employment must be greater than 2 years by the same business

VIDEO: See what else you need to know in buying a Boston area home