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Resources and tools to help when buying your first home

March 18, 2014

Buying your first home is exciting. But with all of the paperwork involved, it can also be confusing. Here's a list of documents you'll need, along with some resources and tools from Vanguard, to help you simplify the process.

Documents you'll need along the way

  • Account statements from your checking, savings, and investment accounts: Mortgage lenders generally require this information before determining your loan amount and interest rate. (You can get your Vanguard statements by logging on to
  • If you're not self-employed, your most recent Form W-2 and a recent paystub: Lenders use these documents to verify income adequacy for loan repayment.
  • Your tax returns for the past 3–5 years if self-employed: These documents serve the same purpose as a W-2 and a paystub.

Vanguard resources to help

  • Bank Transfer Service Form. This form can help expedite the transfer of assets from your Vanguard mutual fund account to your bank/mortgage lender for a down payment or to cover closing costs.
  • Link your bank account to Vanguard. With electronic bank transfers, you can streamline the process of depositing and withdrawing funds.
  • Investor Questionnaire. Wondering what’s the best investment to help you reach your down payment goal? Fill out this short Q&A to help you determine what investments are right for you based on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
  • Mutual fund recommendation tool. Once you've determined your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon, this tool can help you choose the investments that meet your needs.
  • IRA kit and Disclosure Statement. These pieces include information about whether, when, and how you can withdraw assets from your Vanguard IRA® accounts. Lenders often want to see whether a borrower can withdraw money from a retirement account and under what conditions. Note: Withdrawals from retirement accounts come with specific conditions and penalties. Check with your tax advisor before transferring any funds.
  • Voice Verification Service. To facilitate transactions and make it easier to access the money that you've saved for your down payment, you can set up voice verification. Once you do so, you can verify your identification simply by speaking your specified phrase into the phone.

Helpful tips

  • Be proactive. The sooner you talk to a lender the better shape you'll be in when it comes time to buy your home. Getting pre-qualified with a lender so you know what you're able to afford is also something to consider.
  • If you need short-term cash to close on your home, one option may be an indirect rollover withdrawal from your IRA. Under IRS rules, you'll have 60 days from the date of the withdrawal to take money out of the IRA account and put it back in, but you can only do this once in a rolling 365-day period. IRS rules also allow a few exceptions that permit early withdrawals without a 10% tax.


  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • We recommend that you consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual situation.
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