For most people, the purchase of a home is a big undertaking financially and emotionally. What can help make the process easier is being prepared. The first place to start is at your bank or credit union. Because there is a housing inventory shortage along Boston’s north shore, sellers want to work with buyers who have been pre-approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved involves providing your banker with information and documentation on your current salary and salary history, how much you currently pay for rent and your existing monthly obligations. Your banker will ask you to provide copies of your salary statements and the most recent two year income tax returns. Once your banker has gathered the documentation, an analysis of your credit report will be performed and you will know what you can afford for a mortgage (including interest and property taxes). I’m not just a Realtor. I am a former banker, and I understand the implications that major financial decisions have on our lives.