Your Guide to Homeownership

Being prepared for what comes with owning a home can save you precious time, energy and money. Below you have our Home Buyer’s guide made simple, so buying your home doesn’t have to be complicated.

Know Your Budget.

Don’t find your dream home without knowing if you can afford it.

Let us prepare your paperwork and Pre-Qualify you. It’s important you put your best foot forward before applying for a loan, we will enable you to be approved for the full amount you can afford to pay back. The information you put in your loan application will greatly affect the amount you are approved for and the rates you will be paying for the life of the loan.  Having all your paperwork organized in advance will be a big help. Lenders typically ask for W-2s (if you receive a paycheck), 1099s or profit and loss statements (if you’re self-employed), recent pay stubs, two years of tax returns, bank statements, student loan docs and/or credit card statements. We will advise during the house finding process on what you can be doing to further improve your credit scores and financial statements.

Find Your Realtor.

With all the information available on the internet, it may seem like buying a home is as easy as picking your favorite song and pressing play. The truth is that without an experienced realtor, you may find yourself reading through time-consuming contracts and dealing with grueling negotiations, legalities, and paperwork. It helps to have someone looking out for you,who knows how to navigate through the process and finding you the right home. A good realtor can also help you save money if they know the neighborhood and/or home well and can give you valuable negotiating advice. The best part? Typically, the seller (of the home you end up buying) will pay your realtor’s fees.

Spend Smart The Months Leading Up To Purchasing A Home

Plan to be a little more conscious regarding your finances and spending habits. Most lenders view sharp swings in your savings account balance and increases in revolving debt as big red flags that could indicate you’re a high-risk borrower—which can have a negative effect on your ability to get approved or increase the interest rate on your loan. Stability should be your goal, so avoid major purchases and new credit card accounts, at least for the time being.

Get Pre-Approved

A solid credit score, submission of all required documents, and a stable financial picture should help you get to the pre-approval stage. Unlike pre-qualification, which gives you a rough idea of how much money you can borrow and at what rate, pre-approval is a more formal step in the process that allows you to submit an offer with confidence that you are officially approved for a loan. Being able to show that you are pre-approved for a loan also puts you on equal footing with competing bids from both well-funded and cash buyers.

Make An Offer

When making your offer cover all of the bases.

  • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
  • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
  • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms and ask questions
  • Place a bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
  • Keep your credit score stable and waiting before making any big purchases until long after closing
  • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

Closing Process

The closing process is relatively simple for you. We’ll prepare your paperwork, the escrow company/closing agent will calculate legal fees, transfer taxes and closing costs, as well as coordinate the transfer of ownership via deed.

The lender provides documentation of the loan, including the note, the mortgage, closing fees, and other disclosures. The lender will also record the loan for public record.

The title company will furnish documentation of clear ownership.

Prior to closing, you will schedule a final walkthrough to ensure that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed and the home has been left in satisfactory condition. If everything checks out, the closing documentation can be signed by you and the seller. After all financial transactions have been verified as complete,you will be given the keys. Congrats! That’s when you’re officially the new owner.