Welcome to the BeSmartee blog. Enjoy a wide selection of articles related to mortgages, the industry, and real estate.

Mortgage Application Checklist

By Veronica Nguyen · Apr 1, 2015 · Mortgage

Mortgage Application Checklist

Image courtesy of Flickr, kkirugi

This mortgage application checklist will help you get prepared before you apply for a home mortgage. Gathering this information ahead of time will ensure this process moves quickly and limits any delays.

Identity Verification (Borrowers Information)

  • Full Name

  • Social security number (You may be asked to provide a copy of your social security card).

  • Government issued photo ID (driver's licensed or passport)

  • Date of birth

  • Current Address (residence for the last 2 years)

  • Phone number

  • Email Address

Income Verification

  • Last 2 years employment history

  • Name and address of all employers (2 years)

  • Pay stubs

  • W-2's from the last 2 years

  • Federal tax returns from the last 2 years

  • Pension, retirement benefits and social security award letters (if applicable)

  • Letter of explanation for any employment gaps

  • Alimony or child support income (if applicable)

  • Proof of any supplemental income

  • Tax Transcript (IRS form 4506-T signed and dated)

Income verification If Self-Employed

  • Profit & Loss Statement (year to date)

  • Personal and Business federal tax returns for the past three years

  • List of all business debts

Credit Verification

  • Letter of explanation for late payments, bankruptcy, collections and judgements in credit history.

  • Bankruptcy discharge letter

  • A copy of the divorce decree

  • Mortgage lenders information and address for any real estate you own.

  • Verification of rental payment history, public utilities, phone, car insurance and other expenses.

Tips About The Documents

Some lenders may want more or less information from you depending on your unique situation.

  • If you've lived in your current address less than two years, be prepare to supply all previous address for the seven years.

  • If you have not established credit, your lender will want to see more documents showing you can afford the mortgage loan.

  • Your ethnicity and race will be asked to make sure that everyone is being treated fairly (although you can decline to answer).

  • You will be asked if you are a U.S Citizen or a resident alien.

  • If you're getting alimony or child support income, you do not have to disclose it unless you want the lender to consider it as additional income for your qualification.

  • The lenders will run your report using your identity verification information.

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By Arvin Sahakian · Aug 17, 2015 · Real Estate Data

Real estate agents receive commissions from home buyers and sellers, collectively earning over $50 Billion per year. Learn how commission amounts are set, who pays them, and how they work in this article. Read more.


California Property Tax: Complete List by County 2014-2015
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List of secured property tax rates for all counties of California fiscal year for 2014-2015. Read more.


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If you live in California and are over the age of 55 you can effectively reduce your property taxes when buying a new home. Read more.


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Houston Vs. Dallas? If you are considering moving to either of these major metropolitan areas, we've created a resource to help you make the decision process a little easier. Read more.


What to Expect During the Home Loan Closing Process
By Arvin Sahakian · Feb 24, 2015 · Mortgage

You've heard the term used before, but what does loan closing mean? Find out all you need to know about the process. Read more.


5 Illegal Borrowing Activities: Things That Are Illegal When You Try to Get a Home Loan
By Laura Agadoni · Jan 22, 2016 · Mortgage

Whenever there is money to be made or money to be spent, some unscrupulous folks will take advantage, trying to game the system or commit all-out fraud. Read more.


The Surge in Foreign Real Estate Investment in the United States
By Laura Agadoni · Feb 24, 2016 · Real Estate

Foreign real estate investment in the United States, both commercial and residential, is a huge phenomenon that is only expected to accelerate, maybe even to skyrocket, in 2016. Read more.


Does Homeowners Insurance Pay Off your Mortgage if the House is Burned Down?
By Amanda Curry · Feb 8, 2017 · Mortgage

In this article, we explore how homeowners insurance works and what happens in the event of a house fire. Read more.


16 Ways to Improve Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio
By Veronica Nguyen · Nov 29, 2014 · Mortgage

Your DTI is used by mortgage lenders to determine whether you qualify for a loan, and if so, for how much. Improve your DTI with these 16 tips. Read more.


6 Creative Financing Solutions For Your Next Home Purchase
By Laura Agadoni · Mar 22, 2016 · Mortgage

In this article we explore some creative financing options for your next home purchase. Read more.