Step 1: Talk to a Lender

There are two ways to get pre-approved.  The first is where a lender will run your credit and have a discussion with you regarding how much money you make, how long you’ve been employed, as well as a few other questions depending on your credit situation.  This is more of a consultation, but vital, especially early on (6-12 months away from buying).  The second way entails a more in-depth process and involves gathering your W-2’s, bank statements, income tax returns, etc.  If you’re 1-4 months away from purchase, you’ll be falling into the second method.

Step 2: Make Some (Initial) Choices

You’re pre-approved, ready to go, now what? Keep it organized. Make your lists. List out the top five (could be more, could be less) things you want in your first home. Do you want a hint for the first item? Location is a good one.  Just as important: make a list of what you DON’T want in your first home.  Remember, there will be compromises.

Step 3: The Search

This is the fun part! But we feel it’s important to keep an eye on the big ticket items: roof, windows, appliances / HVAC, foundation.  Condo? Look at the building as close as you’re looking at the unit.  Here’s where your real estate broker should be pointing out items you wouldn’t normally consider.  After all, you haven’t done this before.

Step 4: Negotiation and Due Diligence

You found it! Now what?  Negotiation and due diligence are your next steps.  How much should you offer?  What’s earnest money?  What else is negotiated other than price?  Your real estate broker will be crucial at this stage, just be prepared that if the deal looks bad, find something else.

Step 5: The Closing

You’re almost there.  The closing is a momentous occasion, one that should be celebrated even though you’ll be signing a stack of documents that will last you an hour.  There are people that will play important roles throughout this day (attorney, broker, closer, lender), but at the end of it – – you get the keys and you’re officially a homeowner!!

Step 6: Ownership

The process shouldn’t stop at your closing.  You might need painters, plumbers, general contractors, or just someone to ask questions.  Your partners throughout your journey should be there no matter when your call is placed. 

Hi, do you have any questions that I can answer for you?