The Home Buying Process
1. Get Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved
The first thing to do is to meet with a mortgage professional and get prequalified and pre-approved for a mortgage loan prior to making an offer. Many sellers will not accept an offer without a pre-qualification letter.
2. Determine How Much You Can Afford
The mortgage prequalification process is essential to determine how much you can afford. When you receive a mortgage prequalification letter you know what loan amount is affordable for you and what price range to shop for homes. Now, when you find the home of your dreams you don’t have to worry about not qualifying for the mortgage amount.
3. Find Your Real Estate Agent
Once you know what mortgage amount is affordable for you, it is time to find a real estate agent. The real estate agent’s job is to represent you through the purchase process from purchase offer to closing. We are happy to provide referrals for qualified agents we have worked with in the past.
4. Finding A Home
Work with your real estate agent to determine what factors are most important for you during the home search. Make sure you are working with a highly experienced agent. Once you have submitted an offer, your real estate agent will play a crucial role in the contract negotiation process.
5. Getting a Home Inspection
A professional home inspector will inspect the home to look for deficiencies in the home you are about to buy. The inspector looks for roof damage, foundation problems and any other problems with the home that may result in expensive repair costs.
6. Final Contract Negotiations
Some mortgage loans, such as FHA, have specific inspection requirements that have to be met. Your mortgage professional will educate you on any specific loan requirements during the pre-approval process. If the home inspection uncovers any deficiencies, your real estate agent will work with you to negotiate repairs or make adjustments to the original contract based to mediate repair costs.
7. The Underwriting Process
Underwriting is the lender’s process of verifying income, assets, credit history and the value of the property. This involves reviewing bank statements, credit reports, tax returns and other documents. Remember, do not make any large purchases or open any new credit accounts without talking to your mortgage professional first.
8. Going to the Closing Table
On closing day, your mortgage professional and your real estate agent will join you at an attorney’s office or title company to close the loan. A licensed real estate attorney will walk you through the process and explain all the details contract and mortgage. When you leave, you will have keys to your new home!