The Homebuying Process

Buying a home can be a grueling process. But, with good planning, it can be less stressful. Let's take a look at 11 homebuying steps. 

Step 1: Prepare your finances

Here are some tips for preparing your finances ahead of the homebuying process:

  • Set a realistic budget for your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Boost your credit score before applying for a mortgage with on-time payments, avoid opening too many new credit cards and keep your credit utilization low. 
  • Save for a down payment. 

Once your finances are worked out, you can start shopping for a mortgage.

Step 2: Choose a lender

You can take out a home loan through a financial institution or a private lender. When researching potential lenders, read online reviews and look for lenders that offer excellent service experiences, reasonable closing costs and fees, transparency and favorable rates. 

Step 3: Get preapproved for a mortgage

Once you've chosen your mortgage lender, you can apply for a preapproval on your loan. The lender will ask for your financial history and other personal information. If all is satisfactory, the lender will begin putting together your loan details. When they have determined how large a loan you are eligible for, they will grant you a preapproval letter. 

Step 4: Find a real estate agent

A real estate agent can help you find the perfect home that fits your budget and preferences. They have access to a broad range of homes on the market and can negotiate on your behalf.

Step 5: Find your dream home 

Once you have a preapproval and a real estate agent, it's time to start shopping for homes. Be sure to know what you want and prepare to negotiate. 

Step 6: Make an offer

If your offer is accepted, the deal will officially be "under contract." At this point, you'll likely need to pay "earnest money" or a portion of the down payment. Home sales are typically under contract for 4-8 weeks, though this can vary. 

Step 7: Get your mortgage

As soon as your offer has been accepted, your mortgage lender will get to work on the final details of your loan. 

Step 8: Schedule a home inspection 

A professional home inspection will reveal any potential issues you may not have noticed. 

Step 9: Obtain homeowner's insurance

Shop around for the best rates and coverage to make sure you have a policy in place before the closing. 

Step 10: Schedule an appraisal

The home appraisal, which determines the home's actual value, assures the lender the loan details fit within their policies and regulations.

Step 11: Close and move in

Congrats – you've made it to the closing! Set aside several hours for the closing and come prepared with the funds to cover the remaining closing costs. 

Best of luck in your new home, sweet home!