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Finding your home is meant to be exciting, but the steps to purchasing and knowing how to buy a house can feel shockingly overwhelming.
Balancing your personal connection to a new home, with the details of securing a major financial transaction can create a stressful situation for any homebuyer.
But with preparation and education, you can have clear expectations, get organized, and find professionals you can trust to guide you through the process.
These steps can help you buy a house without all the stress so that you can focus on what matters most – making it home.
Feel prepared to buy a house
Determine what you can afford
If you’re confident that you can afford a home you’re interested in purchasing, you’ll start the process with less uncertainty and you’ll feel more comfortable that you’re making a sound financial decision.
To determine what you can afford, get a clear picture of how much money you currently earn, how much you spend, and what your credit score means. These are some of the same basic factors a lender will consider to see if you qualify for a mortgage.
With several documents and details, a lender will analyze how you earn and manage your income, so you’ll want to have a clear picture of this yourself.
As a gauge, it’s traditionally recommended that your monthly housing payment shouldn’t be more than 25-36% of your monthly income. So beyond your current finances, you’ll need to learn about the new expenses you’ll take on, including the upfront down payment and closing costs, as well as ongoing monthly mortgage payments.
Getting organized can help you keep track of next steps and quickly find the resources you need to secure a mortgage as you work through the process.
A loan officer will need access to your financial information in order to make recommendations on what loan options will work best for you, as well as what they can approve you for without taking on too much risk.
Specifics will differ for every homebuyer, so check with your lender about what they’ll need from you. Keep in mind that throughout the process of securing a loan, a lender may request several documents before you can close. Keeping your documentation organized will make your life easier.
Learn more about the documents you’ll need to gather here
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It’s ok to ask for help
Rely on help from professionals
You don’t buy a home every day, so it’s normal to feel stressed about the unknowns.
Finding a loan officer and realtor you can trust, bring questions to, and rely on is a big relief when it comes to managing stress. These professionals can get to know the specific details of your needs and recommend the best possible next steps. You bring the knowledge of your personal situation, while they provide the experience from the world of homebuying.
Find professionals who not only understand your situation, but who also have experience securing the type of loan you need and understanding the real estate market in your area. They’ll be able to anticipate problems and provide solutions, as well as make recommendations that best meet your needs.
Check-in often to keep things moving
You don’t have to wait for a lender or realtor to contact you as you work through the process of buying your home. This is a major investment and you want to feel as comfortable as possible. Check in and ask questions as often as you need to.
To keep things moving smoothly, respond quickly to questions and requests from your lender and realtor so that you don’t hold up the process.
Understand each step of securing a mortgage
Reducing the amount of unknowns can help you relieve some of the stress of the homebuying process. In the beginning of the process, or even as you work through it, you may want to ask your lender the following questions to gain specific information about what’s next and how you can best prepare:
- How does this work? What are the overall steps we’ll need to take and the average processing time to close my mortgage?
- What information will you need about me and the house I’m interested in to approve my mortgage? When will you need this documentation?
- What loan options do I have? Ask about variables such as term lengths (15 or 30 years), loan types (Conventional, FHA, or VA), assistance, interest rates, down payment amounts, and closing costs.
- How much house can I afford based on the loan options that I’m likely eligible for?
- Can you help me understand the up-front costs and the ongoing monthly costs of my mortgage?
Learning and preparation can bring you stress relief through the homebuying process, helping you to move forward with clear expectations.
To get the answers you need, reach out to our dedicated loan officers who can discuss your specific situation and provide the best possible recommendations for purchasing a home.