Buying a home is one of the most significant events that can occur in your life. Here are some tips to guide you along the way.
Understand your financial picture. Take an honest look at your finances and obtain necessary documentation in advance. Learn more about credit by taking our Smart Credit Matters online training. Click here to launch the course now.
- Review and understand your credit report, know your score and correct any issues.
- Map out your current budget and forecast for the additional day-to-day expenses of owning a home.
- Have a clear understanding of what you owe and what you own.
Collect important paperwork such as tax returns,pay stubs and bank statements.
Find a mortgage lender. There are many ways to finance a home, but your best bet is to work with a trusted, local lender, like UNION Savings BANK. Here are some questions that you may want to ask a potential mortgage lender.
- How does the lender educate customers on the loan types available to use?
- Who will guide you through the entire process?
- What are the fees for each type of loan?
- Is the underwriting staff on site?
- What special financing options, down payment assistance or grant programs are available?
Who will retain the loan after the closing and where can payments be made?
Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. After you select a mortgage lender, request that they pre-approve you for a loan. A pre-approval will help to ensure that potential homes are within your budget and will show sellers that you’re a serious buyer. Keep in mind that there are significant differences in the way lenders handle the pre approval process. Ensure that you receive a written commitment for a loan and that it details the amount available to borrow as well as applicable fees, limitations and other important disclosures.
Partner with a Real Estate Agent. Selecting the right real estate agent is a crucial step. The agent is your advocate and acts as a guide during the home buying process. Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential agent.
- Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing?
- How long have you been an agent?
- Can you show me any home that is for sale?
- What hours are you available to me?
- Are you familiar with the grant programs available?
Will you provide me references from past clients?
Begin your home search. The search begins by establishing what features you want in a new home and where you want to live. Your real estate agent will work to find homes that meet your criteria and then schedule showings of available homes. You can also search for homes online or in newspapers.
Select your supporting partners. When you are farther along in the home buying process, you may need an insurance agent, home inspector or an attorney. Ask for referrals from your real estate agent, friends or family members.