Steps to Buying a Home

Steps to Buying a Home
  • Opening Intro -

    So you are looking to buying a home. Let's review the key steps in the home buying process.

    Let's get you into that new home.

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Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order

The first step when you begin your home purchasing journey is to make sure that your finances are in order and that you have a qualifying credit score. You must have enough money saved up to make the down payment, while also having a qualifying credit score. They need to meet the requirements for the home loan that you’re applying to receive.

Step 2: Get Pre-Qualified

The first step that you need to do once you have your finances in order is to get pre-qualified. The pre-qualification process requires that you meet with a lender of your choosing and discuss your level of income, your assets, and your debt. From then on, the lender will decide your pre-qualification amount.

It is important to keep in mind that none of this information is verified. However, the information gathered allows you the opportunity to start looking for a home that you might qualify for without getting a credit check every time.

Step 3: Find a Representative

Finding a representative is important since he or she will help guide you through the process. Make sure you do your due diligence and find an agent who will have your goals in mind. Currently, FedHome Loan Centers representatives can help you through the process free of charge.

Step 4: Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved is not a necessary step. However, experts recommend that you get pre-approved since it will give you a better idea as to what property you might get approved to receive.

Unlike pre-qualification, the pre-approval process will require that you submit official documentation which will include:

  • Proof of at least two years of employment.
  • Social Security Information.
  • Proof of income.
  • Driver’s License/ State ID.
  • Tax Return information for the last two years (W-2, I-9).

Once the pre-approval process is complete, you will receive a pre-approval letter within three days, which can expire 60 to 90 days after you received it. Also, there is a benefit to getting pre-approved; many lenders prefer it since it shows your intent to purchase.

Step 5: Find a Home

Now, this is the most crucial step in the process because it involves finding a property that falls within your income while also meeting your needs and wants. As you search for a home, you will be searching through online listings, open houses, in-person or digital tours, which will help you find your dream home. Thankfully, your agent will be with you every step of the way with the sole intent of finding the right home for you.

Step 6: Negotiate and Make an Offer

When you find a home that meets all your needs and wants, you will have to put up an offer on that property. The process can be a nerve-racking step since you will be crafting an offer with your agent’s help.

However, your agent is trained on market trends and will help you through the process of making an attractive offer. Once you submit an offer with your agents’ help, you will begin the waiting game as your information is processed.

Step 7: Get a Home Inspection

Getting an inspection done on the home is highly recommended since it will alert you to any issues within the property itself. This step requires that you hire an independent inspector who will check the property for foundation issues, asbestos, mold, roof leakages, and many other potential issues within the property.

If anything comes up, you can negotiate to have it fixed before you move in, thankfully most things are fixable.

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Step 8: Get a Home Appraisal

Appraisals are conducted by the lender who will check the property to make sure that it is a good investment. Unlike the inspection, which focuses on the structure itself, an appraisal will focus more on the location, characteristics, and the real estate market value for the property’s location. This step is meant to protect the lender and is relatively quick.

Step 9: Close and Get Your Keys

Once all these steps are done, and you get approved for the loan, you will enter closing. Taking place on the day, you get your keys. However, it is also the day when you pay for the down payment on your loan, the closing cost, and any extra fees that might have come up through the process.

Once you sign all your final paperwork, you will have finally become a homeowner.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for FedHome Loan Centers, a brokerage specializing in first-time buyer home loans. He also has 22 years’ worth of professional real estate experience. To learn more about programs available to you or to apply for a home loan, click here

Image Credit: by envato.com

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