Financial Education

Six Steps to Buying Your First Home

June 18, 2019 | Return to Financial Education

Six Steps to Buying Your First Home

By: Brandy Titus, Mortgage Originator 

The steps to buying a home may seem complicated and overwhelming at first, but if you dream of owning a home, it’s important that you know what to do and whom to turn to for guidance. Having a plan in place is a great way to help achieve your goals and dreams of home ownership. Here are six tips to help you buy your first home: 

1. Improve your credit score

  • Check/Monitor your credit and fix any problems before you start looking at houses. 
    • You can obtain a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com which would allow you to identify any problematic items that need to be addressed before applying for a mortgage to help reduce any additional reductions in your score. 

2. Start saving for a down payment and closing costs.

  • You will need enough cash to put away to cover most if not all of the following items:
    • Down payment
    • Closing Costs
    • Earnest Money deposit 
    • Pre-paid Interest 
    • Inspection fees
    • Appraisal fee
    • Up front escrows for property taxes and home insurance 

3. Organize your paperwork. Your lender will need the following items:

  • Most recent month worth of paystubs
  • Most recent two years tax returns and W2’s
  • Most recent bank statement

4. Decide on a budget. Find out how much house you can afford.

  • Talk with a local mortgage lender to find out what monthly payment you can qualify for at today’s mortgage rates. Also, this will allow to you identify what home loan programs are available and provide you with an estimated amount for any out of pocket funds needed for down payment, closing costs, and pre-paid fees associated with the loan.

5. Once you are pre-qualified, find a great realtor with your best interest at heart.

  • Ask for a referral from your family and friends! See whom they enjoyed working with through the buying process.  

6. Keep open communication with your realtor and lender.

  • Too busy at work to speak during business hours?  Don’t be afraid to ask your lender/realtor if you can communicate through email or text.  It’s important to keep your lender/realtor informed during the buying process.  If you make sudden changes that have an impact on your loan application, it could result in your mortgage application being denied or delayed.  These types of changes include:
    • Making a large purchase (car, motorcycle, RV)
    • Appling for a new credit card
    • Quitting your job 
    • Depositing large amounts of cash into your bank account 

Owning your home is a big deal! The main thing to remember during the home buying process is that you are not alone. Between your realtor and your mortgage lender, we have the experience helping many individuals buy their very first home. We have seen the common mistakes made and the misconceptions many buyers have, and we are here to help you avoid going down the wrong path. 

Feel free to give anyone of our mortgage lenders at County National Bank a call to schedule a mortgage consultation. We look forward to assisting you with your financial needs.

Email Brandy Titus, or call her at 517.439.0460