Buying a home is a complex financial transaction and for a first-time home buyer the process could seem overwhelming and confusing. A home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it's important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details. With the right Mortgage Specialist, buying a home can be an efficient, pleasant and rewarding experience. Review these basic steps to understand the home purchasing process.
Step 1: Find a Local, Trusted Mortgage Specialist
Find a lender who is local. A local lender knows the market, can get back to you quickly and even meet in person to discuss your loan throughout the process. A neighborhood lender, like Marquette Bank, offers transparency you can trust, local personal service and modern online mortgage capabilities that make getting a mortgage easier.
Step 2: Save for a Down Payment and Review Credit
Working with a neighborhood bank, means having access to financial professionals that can help you prepare for home ownership. It is important to review your credit history, identify any mistakes and work with the credit bureaus to fix any errors. Our Mortgage Specialists can also explore lower down payment program options, like FHA loans, and see if you qualify for municipal, county, state or national home buyer grants or down payment/closing cost assistance.
Step 3: Get Prequalified for Your Loan
When you are ready to start, it is important to get pre-qualified for your home loan. This will tell you how much you can safely afford without straining your financial situation. Work with a trusted Mortgage Specialist and a reputable neighborhood bank to ensure you are not offered a larger loan than you can manage. Being pre-qualified will show potential sellers and the real estate agent that you are a serious buyer.
Step 4: Do Your Homework and Find a Real Estate Agent
Once you know your home buying budget it is time to do your research. Based on your budget, determine all the home requirements you have in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms, living space and features of your first home. Research neighborhoods, commute times from work and family, school districts and convenience of restaurants, grocery stores or parks. Once you have a list of possible neighborhoods and what you want in a home, find a real estate agent who will give you the time and attention to help you find options in your desired neighborhood and budget.
Step 5: Find Your Home and Make an Offer
Work with your real estate agent to narrow your search and find homes with the features you desire. Be realistic in your search. Consider home owner association fees, needed renovations and ongoing maintenance costs. Be sure to consider the cost of ownership for the home you intend to buy. Stay in budget – don’t get caught up in a bidding war and don’t be enticed by that newer, larger home in a neighborhood outside your budget.
Step 6: Get a Home Inspection
This is a critical step in the process. Have a licensed inspector review the home from top to bottom including all the major systems of the home. A thorough home inspection will uncover any major defects or minor flaws with the home. Any issues can be addressed with the sale contingent on any necessary repairs to be made.
Step 7: Work with a Mortgage Specialist to Select Your Loan
A knowledgeable Mortgage Specialist will explain your options and make sure you understand the types of loans available. Don’t be pressured into signing something you don’t understand. The Mortgage Specialist will work with you on all documentation and needed paperwork.
Step 8: Get the Home Appraisal
The home appraisal is a regular part of the process and protects you from over-paying for a home. The appraisal is arranged by the lender, who will work with you to manage the process.
Step 9: Coordinate the Paperwork
Your lender will work with the title company to ensure all the paperwork is ready for your closing and everything is in proper order.
Step 10: Close the Sale
When you purchase a home the closing is usually at the office of a title company. You will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. Once complete, you can enjoy your home. Congratulations!