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6 Steps To Home Buying

Use this guide to get ready for home ownership! From building your credit, to finding a great agent, to life after your big purchase, you need this guide!


1. Get Ready for Home Ownership

  • Build a good credit history
  • Get mortgage pre-approval
  • Find out what type of mortgages you qualify for
  • Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of a property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)
  • Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees
  • Consider utilities and monthly bills

2. Find a Real Estate Professional

  • Before you sign any agreement make sure you like who you are going to be working with
  • Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues
  • Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms
  • Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with

3. Find the Right Property

  • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
  • Make sure you include homeowner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4. Finance the Property

  • Contact your mortgage broker or lender
  • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title preventing you from taking ownership
  • Make sure you understand the financing terms—if needed, ask the lender for clarification

5. Make an Offer

  • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
  • Make sure the title is clear
  • Read all contracts before signing—ask questions to make sure you understand all of the terms
  • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
  • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing
  • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted
Closing Day
Closing Day

and Life After

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6. Closing and Life After the Big Purchase

  • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire
  • Weatherproof your new home
  • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
  • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)
  • Set up utility bills in your name, maintain files
  • Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
  • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends
  • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
  • If you’re happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family.
  • Having a real estate agent that is knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to serve is important throughout the whole process!