Buying a Home - The Documents You Will Need

Buying a home is an exciting—yet challenging—process that requires plenty of research, preparation, and careful consideration. Most of all, it requires paperwork. From proof of identity to a mortgage preapproval letter, you need plenty of documents when buying a house. Understanding the paperwork you must provide when buying a home is key to the process.

What Documents Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Proof of Identity

The first document you must have when buying a home is proof of identity. This document is used to verify that you are who you say you are. Acceptable documents include driver's licenses, passports, and other forms of government-issued identification. Your lender may also require that you provide additional evidence, such as Social Security cards, birth certificates, and/or visa documents, if applicable.

Employment Verification

To buy a home, you will need to prove that you have been employed for a certain length of time and are currently employed. To do this, your lender will ask for six months’ worth of paystubs, W2 forms, and employment verification letters from your employer. These documents are necessary to prove that you can realistically afford your mortgage payments each month.

Credit Report

Your lender will pull your credit report to get an overview of your financial history. This includes information regarding your credit cards and loans, payment history, public records, and more. A credit score will also be provided based on this information. Your lender uses this report to determine whether or not you are approved for the loan and what interest rate you will be offered.

Down Payment Documentation

Your lender will also require that you provide documentation showing that you have enough money for a down payment on the home. This typically includes bank statements for the past few months as well as other documentation that verifies the source of these funds (for example, if it is from a 401k). The amount required for the down payment will depend on the type of loan applied for and other factors.

Proof of Residence

In addition to verifying your identity, employment status and credit score, lenders will also want to verify where you live currently. This can be done through utility bills, rental or lease agreements and other proof-of-residence documents. These documents help verify that you maintain steady residence in one location.

Income & Asset Verification Documentation

The lender will also need verification of your income and assets when applying for a loan to buy a home. This includes two years’ worth of tax returns and bank statements that show how much money is coming in each month and how much liquid assets are available. It is important to note that any assets being used as part of the down payment must be accessible at the time of purchase.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

When purchasing a home, it is important to have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place before closing on the loan. The policy should include coverage for both the structure itself and personal property inside the home in case of damage or theft. Your lender will want to review the insurance policy to ensure it meets their requirements before they approve your loan.

Mortgage Preapproval Letter 

The last document needed when buying a home is the mortgage preapproval letter from the lender. This letter outlines the details of your loan, including amount approved, type of loan, interest rate, and any other important information regarding the loan terms. It is important to review this letter carefully before signing to ensure all details are correct and accurate. 


Buying a home can sometimes seem overwhelming due to all the paperwork involved in the process. By understanding what documents are needed beforehand, you can make sure everything is ready to go when it’s time to apply for a loan and sign on the dotted line! Everyone’s experience with buying a home is different but ensuring all necessary documents are gathered ahead of time makes it go much smoother overall!

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