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Feb 27, 2023

9 Simple Steps to Buying a Home

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Buying your first home can be overwhelming. But if you break it down into simple steps, you can feel much more confident and focus on the excitement of the process rather than the stress of it. Here’s what you can expect when buying a home.

1. Save for a Down Payment and Closing Costs

Saving for a house is about more than you might think. It might start with a down payment and closing costs, but it can also include costs like moving expenses or buying new furniture. Before you fill out any paperwork, make sure to grab a calculator and taking a look at your financial picture to see how much you need to save. Keep in mind most traditional home loans require 20% of the home’s purchase price up front, while other types of mortgages, like an FHA loan, require much less. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure you have enough on hand to put down a good amount of money. The more you put down up front, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. And if you’re not financing your closing costs into your mortgage, note that on average they can range from $3,000 to $8,500 depending on which state you are purchasing in according to Bankrate.

2. Review Your Credit

Check your credit report and credit score before applying for a loan. You can look at your credit report for free every 12 months at*. If you find an error, make sure to file a dispute with both the credit bureau and the organization that provided the information to the bureau. It can take time for credit bureaus to change incorrect information, so it’s important to take time to review them early in the process.

3. Figure Out Your Budget

Before you start shopping for houses, it’s helpful to explore just how much house you can afford. To help determine your budgetuse TruStone Financial mortgage loan calculator to estimate the cost of purchasing a home and your monthly payment. Once you have your budget set, it’s important to get pre-qualified for your mortgage to estimate the loan amount you could receive. Remember, you may get approved for more than you can realistically afford. It’s important to keep this in mind to ensure you can comfortably afford your monthly payments.

4. Start Shopping for Your Home

Now comes the fun part: shopping for your dream home. Before you begin, determine which amenities are nonnegotiable for you and which aren’t. It’s also important to consider the neighborhood and quality of local school districts. Ask your friends, family, or a TruStone Mortgage Consultant to refer an experienced real estate agent who can help you navigate the process. It really helps to have a pro on your side who can also save you money if they know the area values well and can give you negotiating advice.

5. Make an Offer

When you find the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer and negotiate. An experienced real estate agent should be able to guide you through this process and handle everything on your behalf. Make sure you know the selling prices of other comparable homes as well so you can negotiate accordingly.

6. Get a Home Inspection

Regardless of how perfect the home may seem during a casual walk-thru, including a home inspection as a contingency clause when presenting your offer is typically considered a smart idea. Once you and the seller have both agreed to a price, you’ll need to put down a deposit to secure the home. This money will go into an escrow account.

7. Get a Home Appraisal

Most mortgage lenders will also require a home appraisal after the seller has accepted an offer. The buyer pays for the appraisal ordered through the lender with the average cost around $600.

8. Start the Closing Process

The closing process is generally simple for both buyers and sellers, with the lender and title company doing the majority of the work. The title company will calculate legal fees, transfer taxes, and closing costs, as well as coordinate the transfer of ownership via the deed. The lender provides loan documentation, while the title company will furnish documentation of clear ownership. Before closing, you will have a final walk-through to ensure the home has been left in satisfactory condition. After the documentation and all financial transactions have been verified you will be given the house keys.

 9. You’re a New Homeowner! Now what?

Once you’ve gone completed the home buying process, you’ll be handed the keys to your new home. Start packing and calling up your friends to help you move, or get ready to hire a moving company. And, don’t forget to set the date for your housewarming party!
Buying a home can be overwhelming, but TruStone Home Mortgage is here to help with a team of local experts to make every step of the financing process simple and stress-free, so you can focus on the fun stuff. Ready to get started? Learn more about TruStone Home Mortgage loans today. Contact us today.

* You have the right to a free credit report from or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.

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