A Buyer’s Guide to Home Ownership

Filed under: Home Buying Tips

So you want to buy a house in the near future…  What’s the first step?  What needs to be put in place to make the dream become a reality?   Follow this guide and take these steps toward home ownership.

1. Assess Your Credit

Do you have credit blemishes such as recent late payments, collections, judgements, bankruptcy, or other negative items?  If so, you may want to consult with a lender now to strategize how to best deal with these issues.  If your credit is clean, it still may be smart to check it and make sure there are no surprises on your report.

home buying2.  Figure Out Your Cash Situation

Buying a house in today’s market will require some cash and depending on the type of loan you qualify for and the price of your home, that amount of cash will vary greatly.  You may need as much as 20% for a down payment and there are other fees associated with buying a home.  Some loan programs, such as a Veterans Administration loan, minimize the amount of money needed.  Again, talking to a lender early in the buying process will help you to discover exactly how much cash you’ll need so have that conversation early on and then you can plan accordingly.

3.  Find an Agent

Trying to buy a home without an agent can lead to a legal mess.  Plus, in order to get access into most homes on the market, you’ll need to be represented by a Realtor.  Find someone who is familiar with your local area, is accessible when you need them (weekends, after work, etc…), and who works with buyers.  Some agents work only with sellers so make sure you ask.

4.  Get Pre-Approved

Provide your lender with the required documentation (paystubs, W-2’s, tax returns, bank statements, etc…) that will allow him/her to get you pre-approved for the financing.  This will not only strengthen your upcoming offer, but will also help you to plan out your future economics.

5.  Make an Offer

When you find your dream home, your agent will help you to put together an offer.  This will require an earnest money deposit, a copy of your pre-approval from your lender, and a real estate purchase agreement.  Your agent will assist you with this process and with any subsequent negotiations.

6.  Line Up Your Inspections

Once an offer is accepted, you’ll have a limited amount of time to get some very important inspections done.  If there is anything wrong with the property, you want to find out about it now!  Once again, an experienced buyers’ agent can recommend professionals that can perform these inspections.  If problems are found, you’ll negotiate with the sellers on having the problems fixed.

7.  Close the Deal

A few days before the close of escrow, you’ll be called in to review your paperwork and fees, bring your needed funds into the escrow company, and sign your loan documents.  Make sure to read everything carefully and ask plenty of questions.  Once everything is signed, all of the necessary funds have been deposited in escrow, and documents are recorded with the county, you’ll get your new keys and move in!

Should you have any questions about this process or any other mortgage related issues, feel free to give me a call!

Franklin Loan Center | NMLS 237653
Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, 4131316
For questions or concerns please email info@franklinlc.com