Buy a Home
The homebuying process can look complicated, especially in today’s fast-paced market. But it’s actually pretty straightforward. Whether you’re a first-time or repeat buyer, there’s no need to feel intimidated.
Buying a house can be broken down into five steps:
- Prequalifying for a mortgage can tell you how much house you can afford so you don’t waste weeks or even months shopping in the wrong price range.
- Being prequalified also gives you a stronger bargaining chip to use when making an offer; sellers in today’s market may give more preference to a prepared — i.e., prequalified — buyer.
- Prequalifying is easy and quick to do from virtually anywhere.
- It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for — the chance to comb through listings and schedule some in-person or virtual tours.
- Your lender helped you find an estimated mortgage payment you can comfortably afford. Now, your realtor is going to help you get in the door.
- This is again where prequalification is critical. Once your loan amount has been determined, your realtor will be able to show you homes that fit within your price range.
Select a loan program
- You’ve gotten prequalified. But there are still many different types of home loans to choose from with different financing options.
- You may have been given multiple loan choices during the prequalification process (step 1). But know that some products or programs may be subject to change based on the property you decide to buy.
- In this step, you’re going to get to know your loan officer a whole lot better as you work together to hand-pick the right loan program to meet your short-term and long-term goals
Complete the loan approval process
- You’ve finally found your dream home, gotten your offer accepted, and made it through the appraisal and inspection in one piece.
- Before you post that celebratory Facebook status, you’ll still need to get through the final approval process.
- Your loan officer will collect the rest of your paperwork, including title work, flood certification, and homeowner’s insurance, to give you the seal of approval on your loan.
Close on your new home
- Hectic as it may be, this is the time to celebrate. On closing day, which is also moving day, you’ll meet with the seller to transfer the property and close the transaction.
- To make it happen, you’ll need a certified or cashier’s check, made payable to yourself and ready to be endorsed to the title company.
- Take a moment to review your Closing Disclosure, sign the mortgage note, receive the deed from the seller, and pat yourself on the back. It’s a done deal.