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Steps To Buying A Home

Nicholas Whiteside, a 22-year-old homeowner in Memphis, Tenn., shows how buying a home is possible with the help of educational resources, housing counselors and mortgage programs. Learn more about his story.

steps to buying a home

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions an individual will ever make. Our real estate reporters and editors focus on educating consumers about this life-changing transaction and how to navigate the complex and ever-changing housing market. From finding an agent to closing and beyond, our goal is to help you feel confident that you're making the best, and smartest, real estate deal possible. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.

Those housing trends are continuing, causing 2023 to be something of a transitional year. Sellers still have an edge in many areas, thanks to continued scarcity of houses, and no one expects a dramatic crash in home prices or values. Still, the frenzied pace has definitely subsided, and many analysts see a shift towards a more balanced market, benefitting buyers.

Your home inspection report may reveal major or minor issues. Major problems will likely need to be dealt with before your mortgage lender will finalize your loan, while minor issues can often wait till you take possession of the home.

A final walk-through is an opportunity to view the property before it becomes yours. This is your last chance to view the home, ask questions and address any outstanding issues before the house becomes your responsibility.

How to get started: Come with your home inspection checklist and other documents, like repair invoices and receipts for any work the owner conducted, to ensure everything was done as agreed upon and that the home is in move-in ready condition.

When thinking about buying a home, consider whether you want to put down roots or maintain flexibility with your living situation. How secure is your job, and can you comfortably budget for home repairs and maintenance on top of monthly housing payments? Are you ready to stay in one place? Do you have kids or family members to consider?

Everyone thinks of the down payment as the big home-buying expense. But homeownership involves some additional costs that you should be ready for. First of all, potential homebuyers should have enough money set aside to cover closing costs, which can range from 2 percent to 4 percent of the purchase price.

Working to come up with a down payment and repair your credit in advance of shopping for a home will help you to secure the most favorable mortgage terms you can qualify for. Once you have laid the financial groundwork, find a local agent whose expertise you can trust to help navigate a particular market.

The easiest way to get off to a good start is by getting your finances in order. Your credit score is a core element of your financial health, and improving it is necessary if you want to qualify for competitive loans. A good credit score signals that you are more trustworthy, which could help lower the interest rates you qualify for. The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate options. You can kick off homebuying on a good foot by:

An affordability calculator can be a valuable tool in estimating your monthly mortgage payments and can give you a better understanding of how much you should expect to spend. It's a great way to get a benchmark of how much to save for your down payment, and start to narrow down where to kick off your home search.

Did you know getting pre-approved can make the buying process a lot smoother? A mortgage pre-approval is a letter that gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow for your future home; it does an assessment on your financial picture and in turn gives you a sense of how much you can truly spare. Getting your pre-approval with Better Mortgage won't affect your credit score and can be done in as little as 3 minutes. Most sellers or real estate agents require a pre-approval to see a home as an indication of buyer intent and affordability; as a result you should consider a pre-approval letter as one of the many things needed to buy a house.

With a free, no-commitment pre-approval letter, you'll have more confidence searching and a competitive edge when making an offer. Agents are more likely to take you seriously if you show up at an open house with a pre-approval letter, which can give you more leverage in your home search.

Find a real estate agent who can walk you through the process and save you moneyReal estate agents can make your search easier because they are more familiar with properties in the area and can offer a lot of guidance when selecting the perfect home. Not only can Better Real Estate pair you with a local professional, but you can also save up to $2,000 on closing costs if you work with Better Real Estate and fund with Better Mortgage*.

An appraisal and home inspection: The lender will order an appraisal to assess the value of the home and ensure the mortgage does not exceed the value of the home. The inspection is meant for you, as the buyer, to identify any issues with the home that would require repair or could be a costly issue in the future.

Buying a home is a big accomplishment, and having the correct information can make it all the more exciting. Better Mortgage guides you and makes the process of buying a home simpler. Our support staff is dedicated to helping you at every stage of the buying process, whether it be sorting your finances, coordinating with Better Real Estate to get you matched with a real estate agent, or funding your mortgage. Get started on buying a house today.

Wondering how to buy a house? This step-by-step guide will walk you through the home-buying process, which usually takes 30 to 45 days once a purchase contract is signed. We'll provide a clear path forward with realistic expectations. Save this blog post as a reference, and remember to ask your Realtor anytime you have questions. Your Realtor will help you through each step below.

Preparing your finances is the very first step in buying a home. This will allow you to find the price range that fits your budget before you start looking at homes. It will also help you determine how much money you need to buy a house, which is usually 2% to 10% of the purchase price.

If you begin your home search in a higher price range than you are approved for, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Start preparing your finances right from the start, and you'll be ready for the next step. Here are 5 important tips to help you through the home financing process:

No matter what your situation is, you need to check your credit history and know your credit before buying a home. It doesn't matter how good or bad you are with money; all that matters is what's on your credit history. If you find something on your credit history that is incorrect, be sure to resolve it before buying a house.

When you apply for a mortgage, the loan officer will ask you for the previous year's tax returns, employment verification forms, and the previous month's bank statements. It's good to have this information accessible before looking at homes.

Some lenders may not ask for these documents until you are under contract. If you are asked for these documents later, and you cannot provide them in a timely manner, it could affect your ability to purchase the home. Make sure you have all of your key documents ready, and preferably get them to your loan officer before you put a contract on a home.

Closing costs, interest rates, and speed of closing are all good items to ask your loan officer about. Most Realtors will have lenders who they can recommend as well. Be sure to contact a few different ones to compare rates and personality types. Choose one that you feel comfortable working with. You will be communicating with them often throughout the process of your home purchase.

In order to be treated as a legitimate buyer when you are out looking at homes, you will need to have a pre-approval letter ready from your lender. Once you have gone through all of the steps above and found a good mortgage lender, it's time to finalize your pre-approval. Make sure that your lender has thoroughly investigated your finances.

Some lenders will do a basic mortgage pre-qualification that is based on minimal questioning. This can mean problems later when you are actually under contract to purchase. A full mortgage pre-approval will help guarantee that your financing doesn't fall apart later while you are halfway into the home-buying process.

Once you have prepared your finances to buy a home, the next step is to find one. This is the fun part of the home-buying process, but it can also be exhausting. Following the steps below will help you determine a clear path to finding the best house that fits your needs.

A good Realtor is your strongest asset when buying a home. They will provide you with online tools that will keep you updated when new homes come on the market. They will also help educate you on the process and advise you on how to respond to certain situations that will arise throughout the process.

Before you can find a home, you really need to know which part of town you want to live in. Be sure to research local crime stats, school ratings, and area amenities to help determine the areas that you would enjoy living in. These things also affect future resale, so take that into consideration when doing your research. 041b061a72