Here’s a summary of suggested steps in the homebuying process: Before buying your first home, it’s important to consider your situation. If you decide you’re ready to be a homeowner, it’s a good idea to shop for a mortgage loan before shopping for your new home.
- Attend a homebuyer workshop.
- Decide whether renting or buying is best for you at this time.
- Find out what home price you can afford.
- Shop for your mortgage before you shop for your home. Apply for mortgage pre-approval and get a pre-approval letter from your lender. By having verified purchasing power, your offer will stand out to home sellers.
- Select a real estate agent to help you search for, bid on, and buy your home.
- Look at homes for sale in your price range.
- Make an offer on the home you wish to buy. Be prepared to compromise in price negotiations; the asking price and selling price of a home are often different. Your real estate agent can: give you information about recent sales of similar homes; help you write up your offer and make an “earnest money” deposit; and act as your go-between and advisor during negotiations.
- Have the home professionally inspected. Your lender will order an appraisal and title search.
- Complete the mortgage process: provide the necessary information for your preapproval to become an official approval; receive a Good Faith Estimate of the cash needed to close and the monthly mortgage payment; make sure all the conditions of your loan approval have been met.
- Purchase required and optional home-related insurance policies.
- Make a final “walk-through” inspection of the home.
- Arrange for transfer of utility bills.
- Go to closing. Carefully review all documents associated with the home sale. Pay all costs in full with a certified check. Sign all loan and title documents and take ownership!
- Move in.
- Maintain your new home.
- Maintain a consistent payment history to prevent foreclosure.
- Borrow against your equity carefully and wisely.