Getting Ready to Buy a Home?
Check out our Streamline Solution Process Buyer’s Check List for you!
Whether this is your first home purchase or your tenth, there are a lot of
moving parts when it comes to buying a new house. You should feel in
control and confident throughout this process.
We’ve compiled this checklist for you so nothing gets missed! (Although,
if you follow Step 1 correctly, you should have all the guidance you
Here are the pillars:
- Building a Foundation
- The Financials
- Finding Your New Home
- Insuring Your Home
- The Home Stretch
Building a Foundation.
Step 1: Find a Realtor.
Interview a few agents and see if their personality matches your
needs/wants. You want to “click”!
Qualifications your agent should have:
- Local market knowledge.
- Good reviews or testimonials.
- Financial Knowledge – they can walk you through the numbers!
- Works full time in the industry.
- Great time management and communication skills (ie. did they
show up on time & prepared? Do they communicate with you in a
way that you understand and feel comfortable with?).
- Network connections (Effective real estate agents rely on their
relationships. Do they work with other agents regularly?).
- They should ask about your Housing Goals and future vision.
Step 2: Know your Financials.
- Maintain great credit.
- Pay off as much debt as you can
- Your lender will be pulling your
credit in the future as a part of the
pre-approval process so don’t worry
about that just yet.
- Compile and save any important.
financial documents, including:
3 months worth of pay stubs &
2 years of tax returns & W-2’s or
Step 3: Find a Lender.
- Compare different lenders to understand the benefits and advantages
of working with each. (Something as simple as a lower rate or term can
save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.)
- Make sure to tell EACH LENDER not to pull your credit until you’re fully
committed to working with one.
- If your credit isn’t where you want it to be, work on creating a plan with
your chosen lender.
- Your agent may also be able to help you find someone trustworthy that
they have worked with before.
Step 4: Establish a Budget.
- Determine your down payment amount and start process so that the money is accessible and not tied up elsewhere.
- Saving up 20% of a home’s purchase price as a down payment is often suggested, but can be hard to do in high-priced markets (If saving up 20% isn’t feasible, work with your lender to create the best plan for your needs). There are other options like FHA which require 3.5% or VA LOANS with 0% down.
- Consider other costs associated with moving (ie. closing costs, moving costs, renovation costs, new furniture, etc)
- Remember that just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean that you have to spend that amount. Work with your lender and agent to establish a price point and monthly payment that you will be comfortable with.
Step 5: Get Pre- Approved for a Mortgage.
- Ask the lender if you qualify for any special loans, such as VA or FHA.
- Get Pre-Approved; this gives you, your agent, and the lender an estimate of how much you can afford based off of your credit score and past financial documents.
- Work with your lender and real estate agent to determine if your file should be underwritten before submitting any offers. This will help to avoid any potential disappointments or delays during the transaction.
Finding Your New Home.
Step 6: The Fun Part.
- Discuss your home buying wish list with your Realtor. Make sure to include:
- Must haves: bed/bath number, garage, etc.
- Nice to haves: pool, jacuzzi, smart home capabilities, etc.
- Things to avoid: pools, busy streets, etc.
- Bring along your pre-approval and lender contact information so you can discuss budget and have your agent connect with your chosen lender.
- Determine different neighborhoods you might want to live in.
- Have all decision makers involved, either in person or virtually.
Step 7: Find a Home.
- Keep your “Must Haves” Checklist in mind.
- Keep a journal or guide of the different houses you’re interested in.
- Take plenty of pictures to look back at.
- Stay within your price range!
- Bring a snack and shoes that are easy to slip on and off
- Provide your agent with ANY feedback regarding the properties that you view. Both positive and negative feedback can be very helpful for an agent to find exactly what you want.
Step 8: Make an Offer.
- Work with your agent to establish a strategy to get the most from your offer and have the best chance of it getting accepted.
- Sign the offer and any additional documents!
Insuring Your Home.
Step 9: Do your Due Diligence.
- Find a reputable and thorough home inspector, if you need suggestions ask your agent.
- A good home inspector will help to ensure that you don’t end up in a “money pit,” for example, a property with lots of electricity, plumbing or foundation issues.
- An inspector will also report any issues found with the home that will allow you to ask for repairs during negotiations.
- If work is needed to be done on the property, strategize with your agent to submit a request for repairs or offer adjustment.
- Review disclosures and paperwork with your agent.
- If you will be making any additions or construction to the property, such as adding a pool or a guest house, check with the city building department to ensure zoning allows for those upgrades.
- Review title report with title representative and agent to ensure that there are no unknown easements or liens on the property.
Step 10: Arrange for Homeowner’s Insurance.
- Search for a homeowner’s insurance policy with great coverage at a reasonable cost. Ask your lender for suggestions if necessary.
- Some lenders require a year’s worth of homeowner’s insurance up front before approving a mortgage
The Home Stretch.
Step 11: Finalize Financing with Your Lender.
- The lender will order an appraisal on the home to verify that the market value supports the purchase price.
- Double check that your interest rates and mortgage payments are what you agreed upon.
Step 12: Final Walkthrough of the Home.
- Go through the house with your agent to double check everything you agreed upon in your offer is present.
- Ensure that any repairs that were agreed upon in the transaction were completed.
- If repairs are difficult to visually inspect, call back your home inspector or a specialist to ensure the repairs were completed correctly.
- Turn on all lights and appliances to make sure that they still are in good working order
Step 13: Closing the Deal.
- Bring everything you might need:
- Form of identification
- Any additional payment you may need
- Sign the mortgage documents!
Have any questions?
Step 14: Move In!!!
- Pack a “move-in” bag with the essentials for that first day while you unpack (ie. toilet paper, snacks, cleaning supplies)
- Arrange to get the keys to your new home
- Celebrate! You now own your new home!
Using our STREAMLINE SOLUTION
PROCESS, we strive to make the
process as fun and exciting as
possible as we guide you through
the transaction from start to finish.
Let us know how we can help you
find your dream home!
Want to see if we’re a good fit? Let’s jump on a 15–30-
minute zoom or phone call. You just need to take your first
step and I’ll quickly be able to help you to know which is the
best path for you!
Phone Number – 214-498-4942