We are continuing to celebrate National Homeownership Month which is a time to celebrate the benefits that homeownership brings to families and communities. In honor of National Homeownership Month, we have curated a list of our most popular homeownership resources for new homebuyers. Next up is our Home Buying Road Map.
Buying a home is an exciting time! And it can also be an overwhelming process. There are many steps, tasks, and tons of documents to complete. We have put together the below list of the 15 key steps in the home buying process to make the process easier to understand.
- Get Pre-Qualified & Pre-Approved
a. Pre-qualification is an estimate for credit given by a lender based on information provided by the borrower.
b. To get pre-approved, a lender will check your credit and verify documentation to approve a specific loan amount for a certain period of time.
- Find a Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is an expert in the home selling process and is the one who will be “on your side” and watching out for your best interest.
- Set a Budget
The best way to start the home buying process is to determine how much home you can afford. Try out a Home Affordability Calculator to get started.
- Start Your Home Search
This is the fun part! With your pre-approval letter in hand, now is the time to find your dream home.
- Make an Offer
You’ve found the one. Now is the time to make an offer. This is when your real estate agent will shine in helping with the negotiation. A purchase offer usually also requires including an earnest money deposit.
- Option Period
An agreed upon period of time, stated in the contract, which gives the Buyer the right to terminate the contract for any reason. Normally, the Buyer has the property inspected during the option period.
After the offer is accepted and the contract is signed, the Buyer has three days to deposit the agreed upon amount of earnest money with the escrow agent/title company.8.
- Title Work Begins
Republic Title examines public records to deter-mine ownership, liens and other matters that could affect the title, such as judgments, bankruptcies, divorce, death, which require further investigation by the title company before closing can occur.
- Home Inspection
The Buyer may hire a professional home inspector to ensure the property is in good condition. This must be done before the option period ends.
- Home Appraisal
A home appraisal provides an independent and impartial analysis of real property. At the end of the appraisal, you will be provided with an accurate estimate of the fair market value of the home being sold.
- Loan Approval
After the home appraisal your loan application, accompanying documents, and credit history are analyzed by an underwriter for the lender, the home meets appraisal requirements, and the loan is approved.
- Obtain Homeowners Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for damage to your house and other structures on the property where your house is located.
The title company sends signed documents to lender for final approval. All money is distributed.
- Closing Day
The big day is here! You will be signing lots of paper. Make sure to bring valid unexpired photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport, your spouse, a cashier’s check if you are bringing cash to closing, as well as any additional documentation requirements. If you have initiated a wire transfer to send funds electronically, be sure to verify receipt of funds with the title company.
- Get Keys & Move!
To download the Home Buying Road Map resource, click here. To view other Home Buying Resources, visit the Resources page on our website.