Buying a new home can be scary and confusing. However, with the help of homebuyer education, you can make the process a bit more clear and easy to navigate. If you’re looking at the steps to buy a home and feeling worried, you aren’t alone. The good news is, with a little effort and help, you can learn the steps and how they work to reach your dream of being a homeowner.

Step 1: Get Prepared
Start saving money for a down payment as soon as possible. Additionally, create a separate savings account specifically to help cover any unexpected costs that might come up throughout the home buying and home owning process.

Step 2: Gather Your Paperwork
Avoid last-minute scrambling when meeting with a mortgage lender by gathering as much necessary paperwork as you can ahead of time. A list of paperwork and items you should gather includes: 

      • A printout of your financial history (past 2 years)
      • A printed list of any assets you own
      • Identification
      • W-2 forms
      • Stubs from your most recent paychecks
      • Proof of your current rent or mortgage

Step 3: Research Lenders
Choosing a lender is an important part of the home buying process. Be sure to choose a lender that will help you throughout the process and that takes the time to match you with the right mortgage product for your needs. Checking online reviews and asking for recommendations can also help you choose a lender.

Step 4: Get Pre-Approved
Pre-approval can be a faster process than the actual mortgage application, and will give you a rough estimate of your available price range. This will help you evaluate the market and look at homes that meet your price qualifications. Also, sellers take buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage more seriously than those who are not.

Step 5: Find a Good Real Estate Agent
The effort you put into finding a lender should also go into finding a great real estate agent. When you’ve found the perfect person, begin viewing homes that fit your price range and needs!

Step 6: Get a Home Inspection
Once you’ve found a home you really like, it’s time for a home inspection. The results of this inspection will tell you whether the house is the right choice for you. If there are major improvements needed, try negotiating with the seller to make a deal that works for both sides.

Step 7: Put In an Offer
Your real estate agent can guide you through the process of making a strong offer on your new home. You want to make sure you consider all factors when putting in an offer, such as level of interest in the home, popularity of the home, if improvements are needed, and more.

Step 8: Finalize Your Mortgage
Once you have identified the home you want and are ready to close the deal, work with your lender to finalizing your financing. If you do not have the full 20% down payment, you may be able to obtain Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) from your lender to meet the difference.

Step 9: Establish the Closing Costs and Finalize the Deal
Work with your real estate agent and lender to determine how much money you will need to bring to the table on Closing Day. Then take a deep breath and walk in ready to sign the final paperwork!

Homebuyer education is essential to a smooth purchasing experience. The more you know about the steps to buy a home, the better you will be at making smart decisions – and the sooner you can relax in your new place! For more homebuyer education, download our informative eBook now!