As someone who’s brand new to the home-buying process, you probably think you have a good idea of what it takes to buy a home.

However, once you dive into the details, the waters don’t look as shallow.

Not to worry. Here are some of the major steps you can expect when buying a home.

Save up for a down payment

One of the first major steps a future homebuyer can take is saving up for a down payment.

For some families, this can be a difficult step due to other debt obligations, like student loans.

Fortunately, applicants won’t need to save 20 percent of the purchase price. Instead, they should focus on a realistic amount that can go toward a down payment and other associated costs.

Apply for pre-approval

Now that you have your financial resources in order, it’s time to get pre-approved.

During this process, you’ll learn critical details about what a mortgage loan will look like, including interest rate, estimated payment, and loan amount.

To get pre-approved, applicants must go through a screening process and provide important documents, including paystubs, tax information, credit reports, employment, and other financial statements.

Pick a real estate agent

You may have already done this early in the process. If you haven’t, this is a good time to bring a partner on board to help you with all the paperwork that comes with buying a home.

There’s a lot of information you’ll need to review, and a real estate agent is equipped and trained to handle it all.

Good chemistry, communication, and market insights are all must-have qualities in a real estate agent.

Shop for a home

With a window into your mortgage future, it’s time to decide on a location and target homes.

The known price range is not the only consideration. While you may have a good idea of where you want to live, this is a great time to compare and explore other possibilities, such as urban and suburban markets.

New homes and types of homes, such as duplexes, townhouses, and condos, should also be found on your decision tree.

Visit available properties

A picture may say a thousand words, but there’s no substitute for in-person viewing.

To get a true sense of how much you’ll like a home, set up times to view some of your candidate homes. Your agent can help with additional information on each home and will have homes to suggest based on your preferences.

Prepare an offer

With so much work already completed, now comes one of the most important elements: making an offer.

Your real estate agent will be invaluable during this time.

The agent will be aware of the going rate for comparable homes. The agent may also establish direct communication with the seller’s representation to get an even better gauge of where an offer can go.

Get the mortgage loan

Since you’ve already been pre-approved, getting the loan may just be a formality.

Once an offer has been accepted, it’s time to sign on the line and get the loan underwritten and closed.

This is an exciting period of time. If you are unsure about the steps in this process or are wondering about your options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more.

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