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Buying your first home can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be.

Spring is historically the busiest season for home purchases around the nation. In Florida, real estate purchases and mortgage applications especially increase while home buyers look to move or purchase before the summer heat hits. We already have some great info on our website regarding mortgage specific basics and a great guide on the home buying process. In this article though We’re going to focus on 5 simple steps you can take to improve your home buying process.

1. Get your finances in order with a well thought out budget

Throughout your mortgage qualification we’ll take into account not only what you can afford but what you actually want to spend. Many big box lenders will automatically max out your pre-qualification to get the most money out of you. It’s important to take a few moments and go through your finances to figure out what you want to pay monthly for your new home expense.

At The Orlicki Group we believe that staying within your budget is important to you enjoying your new home. We’ll talk with you about what you would like to spend and what your plans are for your down payment to get you a pre-qualification that meets your needs.

2. Gather all your paperwork

You know that big pile of taxes, bills, pay stubs, and paperwork you’ve been neglecting? Now is the time to get that in order. During the documentation of your mortgage we’re going to need a few things that you can prep to make your mortgage that much easier. Here’s a few things we’re going to ask for:

  • Two Years of tax returns (all pages and schedules)
  • Two years of W2 / 1099
  • Clear color copies of your Driver’s License and Social Security Card
  • 2 months of Bank records for all accounts
  • Two most recent pay stubs

There may be more that we’ll need but that’s a great place to start. Scanning everything in and digitizing it is the best way to prepare your documents. Most of your bank records and pay stubs are available online for download. If you use Turbo Tax or another online tax filing system you can download all your pertinent documents after you log in to your account. Don’t forget that we will need ALL the pages of your docs. Yes even the blank ones. We’ll guide you through every step of the process though so don’t worry. It’s easier than it sounds.

3.  Examine your credit report

During your mortgage process we’ll thoroughly review your credit report. It’s nice to know what’s coming down the pipe though. If you haven’t taken advantage within the past year now is a great time to review your annual credit report from Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. The FTC suggests that you review your credit report prior to any major purchase, like a mortgage. In a recent study the FTC noted that 1 in 5 Americans has errors on their credit report.

Another great reason to check your report annually is to safe guard yourself from identity theft. According to

When you decide to pull your credit report the only site you should be pulling from is This is the only site verified and authorized by the FTC.

“2016 will be remembered as a banner year for fraudsters, as numerous measures of identity fraud reached new heights.” Fraud losses totaled $16 billion, the report found. About 1 in every 16 U.S. adults were victims of ID theft last year (6.15%) — and the incidence rate jumped some 16% year over year.”

Taking simple steps such as reviewing your credit report annually can

4.  Slim down your baggage

Never will it be more apparent than when you are getting ready to move that you have entirely too much stuff. There’s a few ways that you can look at slimming down your belongings when moving into your new home. One simple trick is to get a large storage bin and start putting things in it as you go. See things you don’t use or have been meaning to get rid of? In the bin they go. Once the bin is full, mark that for donation and start again. You can also start by organizing your existing home regularly. Put that messy closet in order. Slim down your wardrobe.

The idea is that you want to move as little as possible into your new home to make way for things that you might need and limit the size of the moving truck or number of trips you will need to make.

5. Work with a reputable mortgage professional

Last but certainly not least you’re going to want to get pre-approved with a reputable mortgage professional. The Orlicki Group is a team of professionals with a very personal touch. Oliver has almost

We can get you pre-approved and guide you through the mortgage process with ease. Don’t suffer through a disconnect with a big bank or think that a space ship mortgage on your phone is the way to go.


We’re always here to answer your mortgage questions and assist you with your needs. Working with first time home buyers is one of our favorite aspects of the mortgage business. Call us today at 813-302-1616 or CONTACT US to get started.

Download our Homebuyer’s Guide!