CHECKLIST, DO YOU HAVE ONE?
Be sure you’re ready to buy a home
Be sure you’re ready to buy a home
Consider all costs involved, including taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and utilities.
Consider the responsibilities of home ownership, from mowing the lawn to maintaining the roof.
Determine how much you can afford
Consider all costs involved, including up-front costs such as the down payment and closing costs.
Estimate the monthly mortgage payment.
Include in your estimate’s other costs such as taxes and maintenance, as well as insurance and any applicable association fees.
Tip: Use our Affordability Calculator to crunch numbers.
Organize your personal information
Check your credit report to make sure there are no errors.
Gather documents such as financial statements and tax forms.
Have ready the name, address and Social Security number of all applicants; contact information for your current landlord or mortgage company; a pay stub and employer information; the value of your assets; and the source of your down payment and closing costs.
Make sure you have the social security numbers of all borrowers involved.
You’re now ready for the next step…
Our pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford, give you the power to negotiate and even make an offer, and show sellers you’re a qualified buyer.
Apply for mortgage loan pre-approval.
Tip: Get Pre-Purchase Rate Protection to safeguard your interest rate from increases.
Find a real estate agent
Consider special, personal needs that a real estate professional may be able to help you with. Real estate agents can specialize in a variety of areas including employee relocation, military markets, or vacation homes.
Search for a home
Search for properties online to get an idea of the homes that are available in your price range.
Drive through areas that interest you in order to spot “For Sale” signs and to get a feel for different neighborhoods.
Research areas and neighborhoods of interest
Try visiting your preferred neighborhoods at different times of the day and at different days of the week to observe patterns of noise and traffic.
Do online research to find statistics on neighborhoods, schools, and other demographic information important in your search for a home. Your real estate agent may have some of the information you want.
Visit selected homes
Take your time. Carefully examine both the interior and exterior of each home you consider. You may want to visit more than once if you’re seriously interested.
Compare the prices of similar homes in the surrounding area. Your real estate agent will supply you with comparable properties.
Make an offer on the home you want
Before deciding on the amount of your offer, consider important factors such as the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections, time restrictions and more.
Consult with your real estate agent for professional input on determining the amount of your offer.
Include in your offer provisions for a home inspection and an outline of the actions to be taken if problems arise.
Tip: Always check with your real estate agent before making an offer — it may be legally binding. Working with a licensed Real Estate agent may be beneficial and make the process smoother.
Arrange financing, find a mortgage that’s right for you.
Schedule a home inspection
Ask your real estate agent to help you find a reputable, professional home inspector, and to help schedule the inspection.
Tip: It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection. It’s an ideal opportunity to ask important questions about the property.
Prepare for a closing
Make sure your closing date is scheduled prior to any rate lock expirations on your mortgage loan.
If you’re also selling a home and need the cash from the sale, make sure that that closing is scheduled prior to the closing on your new home.
Arrange for your real estate agent or an attorney to be present. That will help assure that all closing tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
Check with your closing agent to find out the amount of certified funds — a cashier’s check or money order — needed for closing.
Decide for all people needed to sign closing documents to be present. This may include your spouse or any other co-signer.
Decide at work and with childcare to be absent for 3-4 hours. (Closing normally takes an hour but you should be prepared to spend extra time in case issues arise.)
Bring along a photo ID — your driver’s license or passport, for example.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure utilities will be turned on once you take possession of your new home.
When closing is completed:
Don’t leave without your new keys.
Congratulations on your new home!