Let’s Keep It Simple
The process of buying a home does not have to be complicated. While there are a number of steps, it is a fairly straightforward process. A strong Realtor will guide you through every step.
- Step 1 - Decide on how much you can comfortably afford
- Step 2 - Research Mortgage/Lender Options
- Step 3 - Get Pre-Approved for Mortgage
- Step 4 - Prioritize your Wants and Needs
- Step 5 - Select Your Realtor
- Step 6 - Meet with your Realtor
- Step 7 - Get familiar with your Personal Website
- Step 8 - Review Homes Daily
- Step 9 - View Homes
- Step 10 - Make an Offer, Negotiate and Acceptance
- Step 11 - Put Up A Deposit
- Step 12 - Get an Inspection
- Step 13 - Complete the Application For Your Loan
- Step 14 - Request an Updated Insurance Quote
- Step 15 - Request an Appraisal
- Step 16 - Loan Approval
- Step 17 - Final Walk-Thru and Close
- Check your Credit Score and resolve any errors and pay outstanding debt if possible.
- Put together a list of your assets – all accounts and properties that you own.
- Estimate a monthly payment using a Mortgage/Loan Calculator
Get Pre-Approved for Mortgage
- If you will not be paying all cash for the purchase of your next home, you will need a loan. Stay ahead of the curve by knowing what loan programs are available and which one is best for you. Learn what current mortgage interest rates are and what you need to close on our new home.
What is Mortgage Pre-Approval?
- It is a written statement from a lender stating the lender’s preliminary determination of a Borrowers financial qualification for a loan amount. It is typically based on income, credit score and debt. Most pre-approval letters are good for 60 to 90 days to allow a Buyer time to look at homes and make an offer.
Why you need to get Pre-approved for a Loan?
- It will give you and accurate idea of how much home you can afford. This will help you and your Realtor in the houses that are truly in your budget.
- It allows the Sellers to know you are a credible Buyer. Most sellers will not consider your offer without a pre-approval.
- A pre-approval letter can make you stand out in a competitive real estate market. You will have the ability to act fast while your competition is still making their application.
What do I provide to get a Pre-Approval Letter?
- A lender will need to get your basic information about you and your financial history. You will provide your social security number and give permission for the lender to review your credit. If the information you provide and the information obtained in the credit report satisfies the lender’s guideline, the lender will make a preliminary determination in writing stating you would qualify for a particular loan amount subject to the conditions outlined in your pre-approval letter.
- Please note that each lender has its own standards and processes for determining pre-approval letters.
- If there is a co-borrower for the loan, they will need to answer the same questions and provide the same information.
How long does it take to get a Pre-Approval Letter?
- The call on the phone or meeting in person normally takes between 15 and 25 minutes to answer all the questions.
- The credit will be pulled and reviewed. The information you provided will be entered into their system. You can expect to have a response back within 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
- A letter is generated within minutes from the initial pre-approval.
- To Get Started Now on Your Pre-Approval –click here.
Prioritize your Wants and Needs
- As much as possible, before meeting with your Realtor, it will be helpful to categorize your preferences as “must have” and “would like to have”:
- Property size
- Location – city, neighborhoods. Get a map and learn the area. Check out our Neighborhoods Map.
- Proximity to jobs
- School districts
- Home age and features
- Convenience to shopping and services
Select Your Realtor
It is important to hire an agent that is full-time, who will commit to giving you the attention and support you need, when you need it.
- Look for someone who has had a substantial amount of experience in
- You do not pay a fee or commissions for your Realtor to represent you and guide you through the home buying process. Each agent is compensated at closing with a fee, paid by the Seller that was agreed to when they placed their home on the market.
Meet with your Realtor
- Great communication is the key to a successful relationship with your Realtor. Discuss your game plan, including your best and worst case scenarios.
- Share your true feelings with your Realtor about your home purchase…. Your fears, what excites you and your motives.
Get familiar with your Personal Website
- Jenn will create a website specifically for you that is updated in real time. Benefits of Your Personal Home Search Website: Links your personal website to the official Multiple Listing Service to identify all available properties. Customize your property search with your preferences. Results are shown by map view, list and neighborhoods. Click on a home on the map or list view to see the complete property description. Current pricing, current price increases or decreases. Status of the home (Active, Pending Contract, etc.) Communicate directly with Jenn through the site. Make notes about properties. Mortgage calculator Receive frequent email updates with links to your site whenever a new property is listed.
Review Homes Daily
- Identify homes that you wish to add to your “view list” to prepare for personal visits.
- Drive by any homes or communities with which you are not familiar so you may keep or delete them from your “view list”.
- Talk to neighbors, take pictures and view the home at different times of day.
- Select one or two homes you love. Jenn will make arrangements for a visit.
- It is always smart to have a backup home that you are equally in love with just in case the first home is taken or your offer does not match the Seller’s expectation.
Make an Offer, Negotiate and Acceptance
- Just before making an offer, we will get insurance quotes, research any permits pulled, review the Seller Disclosures provided, ask major questions about the home, the HOA, and any other issue that could impact your decision to make an offer, or the amount of your offer.
- Understand the offer and the terminology used. Here is a link that may help:
- The offer will include an offer amount, any conditions and a required response period.
Put Up A Deposit
- The Deposit is the amount in the contract that you agreed to deposit on the home in order for the Seller to remove it from the market while you perform inspections and obtain financing, if necessary.
- Wire, mail or bring in your Good Faith Deposit (aka Deposit or EMD – earnest money deposit) within in the time allotted on the contract. Get a receipt for your records.
Get an Inspection
All inspections are performed before the allotted time on the contract to make sure the home meets your expectations. Or, if things need to be replaced, repaired, etc. you can make that request to the Seller. Or withdraw from the contract and receive our Deposit back without penalty.
Complete the Application For Your Loan
- You have already been pre-approved, but now you will sign the actual documents that are sent in to the underwriter along with providing further documentation to support your application, if you have not already done so; (for example, pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns).
- At this time, you will also be giving the lender money to order your appraisal.
Request an Updated Insurance Quote
- Please note, an insurance company will often ask for a Wind Mitigation Report and a 4 Point Inspection Report. These are inspections that are done during the home inspection period that may offer a discount if the home does well on the inspection.
- You may request an initial quote in order to have an estimate on a full mortgage payment and then have it revised with your reports for an accurate mortgage payment.
Request an Appraisal
- An appraisal is required by the bank to determine how much money it will lend you.
- The appraisal estimates the value of the property.
- Once the Appraisal is complete, the lender’s underwriter will finalize the review of the entire loan application and all supporting documents, and a decision will be made on the loan application.
Occasionally, there may be further conditions or requirements from the lender that must be met as quickly as possible in order to receive the final loan approval.
Final Walk-Thru and Close
Typically scheduled the same day, you will have a final opportunity to confirm that the property meets your expectations. Then, you and your Realtor will meet the sellers to sign all closing documents and provide your payment for the home.
Fun Fact: Your 1st mortgage payment is not due until one to two months from the date of closing.