The One Thing No One Tells You About Buying Your First Home

Sophie Miura

Searching for your first home is such an exciting time. Between browsing real estate listings and loading your Pinterest board with interior design inspiration, there's a lot to be done. When writer Libby Kane bought her first one-bedroom apartment in New York, she knew it would be hard work (and expensive), but she also discovered that there's one thing no one talks about—the paperwork. "Going into the process, I had no real idea of what to expect," she says. "Along the way, I learned something: Buying an apartment requires a veritable flood of paperwork." In an article for Business Insider, Kane compiled a comprehensive list of all the documents she needed while buying her first home. Scroll down for our edit of the top 10 documents you probably don't realize you need to buy your first home.

  1. Personal reference letters from friends or neighbors: This is per applicant, so if you're buying the home with a partner, you'll need to supply two strong references each.
  2. Personal reference letters from employers or landlords: This should be on company letterhead. The landlord must be the person you directly pay rent to.
  3. Statement of assets and liabilities, including two recent pay stubs.
  4. Stock portfolio and bank statements from the last three months.
  5. Mortgage questionnaire if financing is involved.
  6. A credit inquiry letter authorizing a credit check. Kane says this caused her credit score to dip, but not to worry—it quickly recovered.
  7. Estimated income and expenses. Kane was asked to fill out a form similar to a budget, with projected living expenses.
  8. Gift confirmation: If you've accepted a loan from your parents or have been fortunate enough to be given money, you might need to supply a signed affidavit.
  9. Proprietary lease application.
  10. Income tax returns from the last two years.

Interested in reading the full list of documents you might need to buy your first home? Visit Business Insider for more.

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Did we miss a document? Tell us what was on your first-home checklist in the comments below.

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