Buying a home should be an exciting time in your life. We can help you find the right mortgage provider for you.
Here is a checklist of what is involved and how to guide you through the entire experience.
Analyze the decision.
Consider the recurring expenses involved, including taxes, homeowners’ insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and utilities.
- Consider the responsibilities of homeownership, including routine maintenance tasks both inside and outside of the house.
- If you are an existing homeowner, consider any costs involved with selling your current home, including costs to make repairs.
Determine how much you can afford.
- Consider all one-time costs involved with purchasing a new home, including such up-front costs as the down payment (which can be larger with some mortgage products) and closing costs.
- Estimate the monthly mortgage payment.
- Include in your estimates other costs, such as taxes and maintenance, insurance and any applicable association fees.
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Organize your personal information.
- Check your credit report for any errors in need of correction.
- Gather documents, such as financial statements and tax forms.
- Pull together other documents, including:
- names, addresses and Social Security numbers of all applicants,
- contact information for your current landlord or your current mortgage company,
- a HUD-1 settlement statement on the property you are selling, if applicable,
- pay stubs and current employer information,
- the value of your assets and
- the source of your down payment and closing costs.
Apply for a pre-approval decision.
- The pre-approval process will help determine how much home you can afford. Additionally, it demonstrates to sellers that you're a qualified buyer and gives you the confidence to negotiate and even make an offer.
- Apply for a loan pre-approval decision
Find a licensed real estate agent.
- Choose a CENTURY 21® Alliance Realty agent who knows a specific area well and has longtime local ties may be able to share the knowledge you can use. Use the one that you feel that has your personal goals and needs in mind.
- If you have rented over the years and had a good experience with the rental agency, this might be a good first place to look for your real estate agent.
Search for a home and research areas of interest.
- Research properties online to get an idea of the homes available within your price range.
- Walk or drive around areas that interest you to get a feel for different neighborhoods.
- Visit your preferred neighborhoods at different times of the day and on different days of the week to observe patterns of noise and traffic.
- Research online and talk to your CENTURY 21® Alliance Realty agent for information on neighborhoods, crime rates, schools and other demographic information important in your search for a home.
- Follow the local news to learn about new developments and emerging community issues that could affect your purchase or property values.
Visit selected homes.
- Take your time. Carefully examine both the interior and exterior of each home you consider. If you’re seriously interested, you may want to visit more than once and take pictures for future reference and comparison.
- Compare the prices of similar homes in the surrounding area. Your real estate agent can supply you with a list of comparable properties.
- Be prepared to act fast if the market is competitive. A pre-approval decision letter can help you expedite the process and make a timely offer on the home you want, and may give you an advantage over other buyers.
Make an offer on the home you want.
- Before deciding on your offer amount, consider such important factors as the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections, time restrictions and more.
- Consult with your CENTURY 21® Alliance Realty agent for professional input on the amount you want to offer, along with other details of this potentially legally binding offer.
- Make sure your offer includes provisions for a home inspection and the actions to take if problems arise.
- Call your Mortgage loan consultant with the property address and discuss the options for rates, terms, points and other details about loan programs for which you may qualify.
- Sign the necessary application documents. Your Mortgage loan consultant can guide you through the process.
Schedule a home inspection.
- Ask your CENTURY 21® Alliance Realty agent to help you find a reputable, professional home inspector and schedule the inspection.
- Arrange to be present during the inspection, as it is an ideal opportunity to ask important questions about the property.
Prepare for a closing.
- Make sure your closing date is scheduled prior to any rate lock-in expiration on your mortgage loan.
- Arrange for your real estate agent or attorney to accompany you to closing to help ensure that all tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
- Check with your closing agent to confirm the amount of certified funds you will need to prepare via a cashier's check or money order.
- If you’re using cash from the sale of your current home, be sure to schedule the closing of your current property prior to closing on your new home.
- Arrange for your spouse or any other party required to sign closing documents to be present.
- Prepare to spend up to four hours in case issues arise (though closing normally takes about an hour). Alert employers and childcare providers accordingly.
- Bring along a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Arrange to have utilities turned on once you take possession of your new home.
Need help finding the right mortgage solution for you? Reach out to our team for help...