Buying your first home is an exciting investment in your future, but before you can turn the key, you’ve got to take a few steps, these steps to be exact. We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the home buying process.

What's The Next Step?

  1. Figure Our Your Finances

    The first step in buying a home is knowing what you can and can’t afford and how your current finances can affect your loan. Get a rough idea of your monthly payments by talking to a Mortgage Professional or using a mortgage calculator.

    Look into your credit scores - a higher score could mean a better interest rate. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio and be mindful not to open new debt or move money before or during the home buying process. Figure out what you can afford to put toward a down payment and know that there are options if you do not have 20 percent to put down.


  2. Learn About Your Loan Options

    Home loans are not one-size-fits all. Find out if you should get a fixed- or adjustable-rate loan and look into the types of home loans that exist. Factors like your down payment, loan size, veterans’ status may make you eligible or ineligible for certain loans. A lending officer can walk you through the differences and get you started on the preapproval process.

    A preapproval allows you to shop smarter, compete in a competitive housing market and gives your realtor leverage to help you get the home of your dreams. Your pre-approval typically lasts for 90 days and will need to be renewed if you do not find a house in that time frame.


  3. Start Shopping!

    Find a realtor you trust and start your search. Work within your approved budget and be prepared to cover added expenses that come with buying a house: insurance, inspection, closing costs. You can also learn ways to cut costs by lowering your monthly payments with mortgage points.

  4. Apply For The Mortgage

    You’ve done all your homework and you’ve found the perfect property, now it’s time to apply for the home loan. You’ll typically have 30 to 45 days to fulfill your purchase contract.

    Your lender will then send you a loan estimate. This estimate includes your approximate interest rate, monthly payment and closing costs. During this time, you’ll need to verify your income and assets by providing documents to your lender.

  5. Complete The Closing

    You’re almost a homeowner! But before you get the keys, you’ll receive a closing disclosure. This disclosure tells you the fees (typically 2 to 5 percent of the home price) that you owe. Your lender will tell you what you need to bring to the closing including identification, payments, cosigner, or anything else.

    Your closing is typically done at an office where you’ll spend most of the time signing forms. Your loan is in the process of closing which may take a couple of days, after which the funds go to the seller, and you can go home sweet home!

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