- Do the Research
Before you start house hunting, look into how much the types of houses in your area cost. You should also be familiar with your financial standing, current budget and credit history. All of these factors will come into play when you’re working with a lender, and they can affect what type of loans you qualify for. It will be beneficial if you write down a list of your assets and monthly expenses, including how much you spend on rent, car payments, credit card and student loan debts, child support, etc. Our mortgage calculators can help you estimate how much home you can afford comfortably.
- Get Prequalified
Getting prequalified is a simple way to help make the home loan process even smoother. You’ll speak with a lender and provide information on your credit, income, assets and debts, and in return, you’ll get an estimate of the size of a loan you can afford (this is where bringing an aforementioned list can come in handy).
Some lenders may charge a small fee, but there’s never a charge to get prequalified with PrimeLending. When you’re prequalified:
- You’ll save time by only looking at houses within your price range.
- You can make an offer on the same day you find the perfect home.
- The seller can expect fewer delays with your offer, making your offer more attractive.
- Sellers are likely to prefer your offer over a buyer who is not prequalified, giving you negotiating power.
- A real estate agent will move quicker knowing you’re prequalified and ready to buy.
- Find a House You Love
The next step is the fun part: finding your dream home. You can work with a real estate agent to help you with this step in the process. But before meeting with an agent, it will be helpful if you already have a general idea of some of the top characteristics you’re looking for to help narrow your search. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would your ideal home have? Are things like having a large backyard and updated countertops a big priority? What are some of your deal-breakers? You’ll want to communicate your preferences to your agent. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your agent and lender are acquainted. They may need to communicate about the house you’re interested in, where you are in the loan process and home buying deadlines.
- Make an Offer and Get an Inspection
After you make an offer and the seller accepts, it’s a good idea to get a professional home inspection. The inspector you hire will take a look at the house and let you know of any possible damage that you may have overlooked, such as electrical wiring issues. If he or she finds any major problems, you can share this information with the seller. If the seller doesn’t want to pay for the repairs, you can try to negotiate a lower price for the house.
- Apply for a Loan
When the seller accepts your final offer, you’ll apply for a loan. This means you’ll need to have several required documents, like copies of your W-2s, bank account statements and more. Having these documents organized and ready to go will help speed up the process. We recommend with a home loan expert, like a PrimeLending loan officer, who can assess your needs, recommend your best mortgage plan and guide you through the process.
- Processing and Final Approval
During this part of the process, your new house will be appraised, and the title and tax certificate will be ordered. From there, your loan will be underwritten. After everything is approved, the title company you’re working with will get closing documents.
- Final Inspection, Closing and Funding
Usually a day or two before closing on your new home, you’ll return to the property for a final walk through to make sure everything is still in good condition and that the seller has fixed anything that was agreed to in the sales contract. On closing day, you’ll bring your ID and funds for closing to the title company you’re working with.
Once those funds go through, the title company will give you your keys, and you can move in!
When you’re ready to become a homeowner, get in touch with one of our qualified loan officers and we’ll support you every step of the way.
From the PrimeLending blog, by Sarah Crandall