The Calm Before the Storm

There’s
a commercial for a mortgage company that plays regularly on a podcast that I
like to follow.  In this commercial you
hear the question, “Why can’t people get a decision on their mortgage in
minutes rather than having to wait weeks?” 
Kudos to the copywriter of the ad for keying on our penchant to have
things instantly instead of having to wait. 
In today’s day and age, we take photos with our phones and see them
instantly (and most likely never view them again until we’re looking to free up
storage space on our phones). 
Conversely, it wasn’t THAT long ago that there was this thing called
“film” that went inside a camera (that had no way of making phone calls), and
you had to take the film to a place that developed it and printed the photos on
PAPER –
and we would wait a few DAYS to get those prints back to see that we had our
thumb in front of the lens in five of the shots and seven other photos were
completely blurry and unrecognizable (and we paid for ALL of the developed photos).  We
were such barbarians!
There’s
nothing wrong with wanting to have things instantly.  Don’t worry: I’m not going to wax poetic
about the virtues of waiting and how it makes things so much more worthwhile –
I’d probably lose all three of the people who regularly read this article if I
did.  What I am going to do is tell you
what the commercial doesn’t tell you: getting an “instant” decision on your
mortgage IS possible, but it’s not done with the wave of a magic wand –
YOU, the buyer, have to have everything ready. 
Think of what I’m about to list as your mortgage “bug-out bag” (that bag
of essentials you have pre-packed and ready so you can escape a bad situation
at a moment’s notice).  Here’s what you
need:
•Valid
ID and Social Security Card (Passport or Birth Certificate is acceptable) for
all borrowers
•Most
recent pay stubs for the past 30 days
•Most
recent two years’ W2s and/or 1099s
•Most
recent two years’ Federal tax returns
•Two
most recent bank statements (with ALL numbered pages)
•Current
401(k) or Retirement Account statement
•Divorce
Decree (if applicable)
•Bankruptcy
Discharge (if applicable) or Complete Bankruptcy Filing (if applicable)
•Veteran’s
DD214 (VA loan), Commanding Officer’s Information (active military)
•Pension/Social
Security Income Award Letter (if applicable)
•Annuity
Distribution Letter (if applicable)
As
you can see from the list above, these are all things that you should be able
to access without a problem –
we’re not asking for copies of your third-grade report card or proof that you
won the tri-county funnel cake eating contest. 
If you have these items easily accessible, you can get a decision on a
mortgage very quickly.  If you don’t,
though, then that decision will drag on and on until you gather them up and get
them to your mortgage company.  It’s
completely up to you.
In
today’s seller’s market –
where the good homes are going under contract as quickly as they’re appearing
on the MLS (or even before) –
you WANT to have your “bug-out bag” current and ready.  If not, you’re going to have to weather the
storm with no roof over your head. 

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