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We’ll start at the very beginning, that’s a very good place to Start!

We’ll start at the very beginning, that’s a very good place to Start! danielle macinnes IuLgi9PWETU unsplash (1)

You are starting your home search, that is so exciting and, we get it, it can be a bit daunting. We are here for you! Let’s start by walking through the process from the very beginning. Note: there is no stress to remember any of this, we will be will you every step of the way with guidance, and reminders.

Step One: Budgeting

This is the first step in the process, and can start with just you, a pen and paper. Here is a blog post on how you should think about budgeting – and will give you a great idea for just where to start! Once you go through the process you will quickly see that it is likely a bank will qualify you for more than you will actually want to spend. Note: Please also read this blog on ‘closing costs’ as you will need your down payment + closing costs at closing. In other words, your total ‘cash out’ will be more than your planned down payment.

Step Two: Get in Touch with a Mortgage Broker

A good mortgage broker will happily jump on the phone with you to discuss the mortgage process, what to expect and help you get a pre-approval. Honestly, this first part is light lifting, they will pull your credit score and you will tell them about your current income and outstanding debts. Now, it is important to note that no one should charge you for a pre-approval, for their time or anything else, and you are not required to borrow from the person who originally writes your pre-approval letter. It is just a conversation, some uploading of documents and you are good to go. Don’t worry too much with finding the best rates now, we will help you do that once you identify a home.

Step Three: You are Ready to Search 

Now, it is time to roll up your sleeves! First start by making your wish list. For help try this blog post. Once you are done writing your ‘must haves’ and ‘really hope fors’ share it with your Agent. You should have a conversation with them after sending them the list to discuss how you want to attack the search. For example, some people love to scour Zillow all day in search of new listings, others prefer their agent do the searching for them and sometimes it is a hybrid. Talk to your agent so you know that your expectations are aligned. Once you are on the search the question constantly comes up about timeline and what you should expect. There is yet another post here that walks you through that. Now, keep in mind, nothing you have your agent take you to see is a waste of time. In fact, the more you see the more comfortable you will feel when you finally find The One!

Step Four: What? You found it!! AMAZING!!! 

Holy Moly, you found it, now we start what is perhaps the most daunting part of the process, the purchase. It all starts with an offer. In order to make an offer, make sure that your pre-approval letter from step one is updated accordingly (all this takes is a quick call to your mortgage broker to make sure it is still good) . In an offer you and your agent outline the terms of your agreement. This post is a breakdown of those terms and what they mean for you, the buyer! Now, if you are NOT in a competitive situation, there may be some back and forth negotiating. This is normal, and after you wrote and signed the first offer, everything is verbal between the agents until you come to an agreement. Once you do, your agent will update the offer and have you sign a fresh copy! Now, with the offer you will have a minimal deposit (usually $1,000), but make sure you have 5% readily transferrable because you will need it to put down with the Purchase and Sales Agreement. This is also outlined in the ‘decoding the offer process’ blog linked above.

Step Five: Egad! What now?

Well, just look at the offer – we have outlined all the dates and you will know exactly what is coming up. There is a home inspection, a purchase and sales date, a full mortgage application, a commitment from the bank to lend to you on your purchase and then your closing!

Alright, that was a lot of information for you to take in, but hopefully it is all a little clearer now. Remember, we are here with you every step of the way so you do not need to think about any of this again as we will walk you through the whole process.

PS: Here is a blog about what happens between P&S and closing as this is always a mystery for my buyers who constantly feel like they should be doing more during this time. 

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Kenda Coleman

Kenda Coleman is a Broker Associate with the Coleman Group.

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