Seven Steps of the Home Buying Process

The home buying process is complicated. Therefore, to ensure the process runs smoothly, you must have all the necessary documentation and be ready to comply with a series of tasks to make sure the purchase is successful. To demystify the home buying process and minimize your stress, there are seven things you need to consider.

1. Improve Your Financial Health Wherever Possible

Before you can even begin to buy a home, you must improve your financial health. The first step to making improvements to your financial health is to procure a free credit report. Under federal law, you are entitled to one free annual credit report from the three credit bureaus. When you receive your credit report, make note of any negative items and address them quickly.

If you find that you own any debts, pay them off in full and ask for letters to be sent stating you have fulfilled your obligations. You can also ask for letters to be sent on your behalf to the credit bureaus when your debts are paid. Additionally, you can work with a loan officer who will give you pointers on how you can improve your credit even further. Once your financial health is in top shape, you can begin the loan application process.

2. Choose the Correct Loan

Once you are financially healthy and have good credit, you can choose a loan. When choosing a loan, you will find there are numerous options available. To save yourself stress, choose a fixed-rate mortgage as this type of home loan is the least risky. Your payments will always remain the same each month because the rates never change, and this means you will not be met with any unpleasant surprises.

3. Gather All Your Documentation

While it is relatively easy to get pre-approved for loans based on your loan officer submitting your credit score, you will still need to gather all necessary documentation so you can present them to the lender upon request. The documentation you will need are:

  • Three years of tax returns

  • Two months of pay stubs

  • Proof of employment

  • Appraisal report

  • Inspection report

4. Make Sure You Meet All Necessary Qualifications

If you are a first-time home buyer, you must meet specific requirements. Your loan officer will be able to advise you of these requirements and let you know what programs can help you.

5. Have a Detailed Inspection of the Home

While you cannot purchase a home without an inspection, the basic home inspection is not as thorough as you'll need it to be. For example, your average home inspection does not inspect sewer lines. While it is expensive, procure the most detailed home inspection that you can.

6. Ask All the Correct Questions

During the home buying process, it is critical that you ask all the correct questions to make sure you understand everything. Some questions to ask are:

  • What are the terms of my loan?

  •  Is the home in a zone prone to flooding?

  • How old is the roof?

7. Carefully Examine All Terms Before Signing Paperwork

Finally, you need to review all the terms before signing on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a jam because you did not review everything before finalizing the sale.

Following the above tips will streamline the home buying process and minimize stress. You will be prepared, and you will be able to enjoy one of your most important investments.

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