When gathering the documents that are necessary for a buying a home, it is critical to be organized. By doing so you will decrease the chance of leaving out certain documents, losing documents, and any other errors. You will typically need these items as a starting point.
To begin with, you will should have ready all pages and schedules of the last two years of your tax returns. In addition, you will also need to include your last two years of W-2s. In addition to those, you will need the last thirty days of pay stubs, along with the last two months for all bank statements and any other liquid assets you are disclosing, such as retirement accounts or stocks and bonds. A copy of your ID is also going to be needed, as well as an explanation letter for any derogatory credit that is on your credit report, even if it is very old. Finally, a gift letter, if you are getting a gift for the down payment (usually a form letter the lender will provide you; other documentation will be required to show where you got the gift from).
The documents that are listed above are all generally included in the home buying process. It is important to be sure that you have all of these at your disposal when buying a home, because they will all need to be put on file by the loan officer. This list does not mean that this is all you will ever be asked for, as it is possible that you may need to include additional documents. However, these documents are the ones that you are nearly guaranteed to be asked for every time you are going about the home buying and mortgage process, so be sure to have them, and have them organized!