Buying a Home
Thinking about becoming a homeowner? Let us help you build your life right.
Buying a home is a big financial decision, and finding the right home at a price you can afford is of utmost importance.
Before you jump into house hunting, take some time to review the home buying process and to get your ducks in a row, budget-wise. Being well-informed about your options and smart about how much you can afford will help ensure that the largest purchase of your life is a sound investment and a wonderful home for the years to come.
The home buying process:
- Start researching your local market. Look at websites and local real estate listings to see what houses are going for and how long they’re on the market, to become familiar with the area and what you can expect.
- Figure out what you can afford. Review your monthly budget and estimate what you can afford to pay for a mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and monthly maintenance and utilities.
- Understand your financing options. You’ll need to decide between fixed and adjustable rates, how much of a down payment to put down, and more.
- Shop around for the best loan. Doing research and comparing your options before selecting a lender can save you thousands of dollars. Learn more about shopping for a mortgage.
- Get preapproved for your mortgage. Before you start hunting for a home you need to know what you can actually spend, and be ready to place an offer when the right home turns up.
- Choose a real estate agent, if you’ll be working with one. A good agent will help you understand the local market, narrow your priorities, and make an informed decision about which home to choose.
- Look at homes and choose a home to purchase. Be realistic about what your priorities are and what you can afford.
- Make an offer. Your real estate agent can help you write and submit an offer.
- Home inspection. If your offer is accepted, it’s highly recommended you have an inspection done by a qualified and certified home inspector. This will help you identify potential problems and inform your decision to move ahead with the purchase.
- Appraisal. Your lender will arrange for an appraisal of the home, which lets all parties know you’re paying a fair price for the home.
- Closing. At closing you’ll sign all of the loan documents and other paperwork that is required to complete the sale.
Some additional home buying tips:
- Weigh buying vs. renting. Owning a home is beneficial for some people, but others find renting to be a better option for them. Read more about renting vs. buying a home.
- Check your credit score. You may be eligible for a lower interest rate if you have a higher credit score. If you credit score is low, it might be worth it to build your credit and increase your score before buying a house.
- Get advice from a trusted source. Feeling overwhelmed by your options? Speak with one of Statewide’s financial counselors for help reviewing your home buying options.
Learn more about home ownership, and the types of mortgages you can get »