Step 1 Find Out Your Price Range
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage has become a required first step for most real estate transactions. Home sellers will require proof that you can qualify for a loan before you can buy a home from them. Aside from that, having an experienced mortgage professional review your application prior to making an offer could save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches.
Imagine putting an offer on a home, packing all of your things to move and finding out your loan was denied a week before your scheduled closing. This is way too common of an occurrence but can be easily avoided by choosing the right mortgage professional and having them thoroughly pre-approve you.
Step 2 Start Looking for Homes
Once you get the thumbs up from your mortgage broker, the fun begins. Now that you have an idea of what kind of price range you can qualify for, it’ll narrow down your search and make it much more focused. Searching for a home can be an exciting, enjoyable experience but it can also be an exhausting and frustrating one.
The difference? Choosing the right Realtor to work with. Pick the wrong one and you’re in for a very bumpy ride. Do your homework and make sure they are experienced and have the availability you and your family will need to view homes together.
Step 3 Make an Offer on Your New Home
OK, so you’ve lined up your financing and chosen the right Realtor. They show you some homes and you’ve found it; the perfect home that has everything you and your family have always wanted! Now what?
Confer with your Realtor and mortgage broker when making an offer on your dream home. Make sure to get the estimated payment figures from the broker and stay within you range of affordibility. Once confirmed, your experienced Realtor will help guide you on an appropriate offer price for the home. You’ll sign a purchase contract, cross your fingers and hope they say yes.
Step 4 Get a Home Inspection and Appraisal
They’ve accepted your offer and you’re on your way to becoming a new homeowner. On your purchase contract, there will most likely be something in there that allows you 10-14 days to get the property inspected. This is not a requirement but is highly recommended. The cost is a few hundred dollars depending on the size of the property (usually anywhere from $200-400). If the home inspection reveals a potential issue with the home, you can address it with the seller at that point. If you cannot come to an agreement, you will most likely be allowed to cancel the contract based on that and get refunded and deposit you put on the home.
After the inspection comes out clean, the next step would be to order an appraisal. Unlike a home inspection, the purpose of an appraisal is to ascertain the value of the property. Cost will vary by lender and loan program, but the typical cost is in the range of $250-450. This is required by the bank as they need to know the loan they are giving you isn’t more than the home is worth. And, let’s be realistic here, you probably want to make sure you aren’t paying too much for the home…don’t you?
Step 5 Closing on Your New Home
Your mortgage application will be processed and fully approved once the appraisal report comes back and everything checks out OK. You will get a ‘clear to close’ and your Realtor will help schedule the closing for you to finalize the purchase of your new home.
A few days before closing, you will find out from the mortgage broker how much money you will need to bring to the closing. You’ll need to bring a certified check or wire the funds through your bank; ask your broker for specifics.
Step 6 Get Your Keys and Move In
You’ve signed all the paperwork at closing and want to know what’s next. Go get your keys from your Realtor and start moving your stuff in! Aside from that, make sure you turn on all of the utilities at your new home the morning of closing to make sure you don’t have any delays or inconveniences with your move.