Buying a home is a big job that can take several months or even longer to complete.
Step 1: Prepare for homeownership
A good way to begin the home buying process is to take a realistic look at what you can expect from homeownership and what owning your home really means. There are many good reasons to buy a home, provided you’re ready for the increased responsibilities. Determine whether you should rent or buy by carefully evaluating the pros and cons of homeownership and you current situation.
Homeownership can be a complicated and intimidating process, and education can give you the tools and knowledge you need to successfully navigate it. Sign up for Homebuyer education classes with our organization to help you learn as much as you can about the home purchase process. Classes include information on money management, credit, selecting a home, mortgage financing and home maintenance. Also, NeighborWorks® offers individual counseling to help you resolve any barriers to achieving your dream. Although homeownership education and counseling won’t guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage loan, they can increase your skills, knowledge and confidence about the whole process, as well as the likelihood that you will one day become a homeowner if you work on it.
Step 2: Determine how much you can afford to spend
Before you begin searching for your dream home, analyze how much you can afford to spend on a monthly mortgage payment by preparing a realistic budget, or spending plan, that includes all your monthly obligations and regular expenses. Our lending staff and housing counselors can help you develop a successful plan.
Step 3: Get your mortgage pre-approved
To find out how much they can afford to spend, most homebuyers have their first contact with a lender before they start looking for a house. Our lending staff can review with you the terms of various mortgage products and help you pick one that will best meet your needs. A mortgage application is actually taken. Income, savings, and credit are all verified and depending on qualification a “letter of approval” will be given to the homebuyer and presented with any offers they may make. Home sellers are more willing to accept an offer if they know the potential buyer is qualified for their mortgage.
Step 4: Decide what kind of home you want and need
Knowing how much you can afford to spend on a house helps you realistically evaluate your wants and needs. Other than affordability, you should consider the area where you want to live, type of home, size needed, lifestyle, and special circumstances, etc. Our Realtors® can help you match up as many of your “wants in a home” as possible based on your affordability. When these initial basics are covered…..”It’s time to start shopping”