“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Maya Angelou

Everything you'll need to get started

For first time home buyer’s the process of buying a home might seem like a daunting task. 

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know from start to finish. 

Click the button below to speak with a licensed mortgage consultant. 

Homebuyer Timeline

Step by step guide for buying a home. 

Step 1: Determine your Budget

Take the time to look over your finances to see what you would be able to afford on a monthly basis. Remember, you do not need to buy a home that is at your max approval amount. 

Step 2: Check Your Credit

Before filling out a mortgage application, be sure you know what your credit score is and what debts you have open and reporting on your credit. You’ll have access to lower interest rates the higher your credit score is. 

Step 3: Talk to a Lender

Finding a lender is a hiring process. There is more to a lender than interest rates. Find one who is knowledgeable in your area, has connections to real estate professionals and who will make sure your deal gets closed. 

Step 4: Get Pre-Approved

By this point you should be ready to get an application filled out and get pre-approved. This is a crucial step and it is important that you take the time to do this. Getting pre-approved means that a lender has fully reviewed your finances and documentation to determine your max approval amount, monthly payment and your cash to close. 

Step 5: Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Now that you’ve determined what the bank is willing to lend you, it’s time to find a realtor that will help you finding the perfect home! Just like finding the right lender, you want to be sure to hire a realtor that is local to your area. It’s okay to speak with more than one realtor before choosing one to work with.  

Step 6: Finding the Right Home

Now, the fun begins! Your realtor will help you with setting up a home search that meets your wants and needs. Go out and tour as many homes as you can to narrow your search down of what you actually want. 

Step 7: Submitting Offers

Once you find the home you love, your realtor will walk you through the process of writing and submitting an official offer. You’ll go over purchase price, close date, contingencies, if you want the seller’s to contribute to your closing costs and how much earnest money you’ll submit with the offer. 

Depending on the current market, you might need to submit a few offers before getting one accepted. 

Step 8: Offer Accepted

Congratulations! You’re now under contract. Once the seller’s agree and accept your offer, the process will start to move quick. 

Be prepared for your realtor and lender to be in touch quite frequently. You’ll need to sign a lot of initial disclosures and will potentially need to submit updated documents to your lender. 

Step 9: Lock Interest Rate

Once your offer is accepted, your mortgage loan officer will be discussing the interest rates with you to “lock in” the rate you want to go with. 

Because mortgage rates change daily, you’ll have to agree to lock in the interest rate. 

Step 10: Home Inspection

Homes have issues that you might not notice yourself, and you want to be sure that the home you’re buying doesn’t have hidden problems. A home inspection will be done by a professional to find anything that might be a cause for concern. 

Step 11: Negotiations and Repairs

If issues are found, you have the opportunity to negotiate with the sellers by either asking them to fix the issues before closing, reducing the purchase price, or by asking for a credit from the sellers. Your realtor will help with these negotiations. 

Step 12: Initial Approval

Once you’re under contract, your lender will be pushing your loan file through their system for approval. A mortgage Underwriter will be reviewing the file to ensure that you are qualified for the purchase. The Underwriter might request some additional documentation and updated paystubs/bank statements to verify that the information on your application is still accurate. 

Step 13: Final Approval

Congratulations! You’ve sent all of the requested information back to your lender who re-submitted the file to the Underwriter. As long as everything is accurate, your file will be fully approved and you’re one step closer to getting the keys to the home. 

Step 14: Closing

The day has arrived. You started the process of buying a home a while back now and have finally got to the closing table to sign the documents and get the keys to your new home. 

Be prepared to sign what feels like 1,000 documents. Once complete and you’ve signed every line, you’ll get the keys to your home! 

Step 15: Move in

Now that you own the home, you can move in whenever you want. Be prepared for all of the costs associated with moving. 

Once you’ve moved in, be sure that you set your utilities and internet up.  

Step 16: Watch out for spam mail

New homeowners are often sent many new pieces of mail. Some are important and should be kept. Some look important but are spam and should be thrown away. 

Be sure that you’re reviewing all new mail and confirming with your lender if you receive a letter you’re unsure of. 

Step 17: Make first payment

Setting up auto pay is generally the best way to make your payments. This way, you can be sure that no payments are missed. 

We've got all your bases covered

We make sure that you have access to every resource you’d need as a first time home buyer. 

Free Credit Report

Knowing your credit score is an important step when applying for a home loan. Click "Learn More" below to receive a free credit report.

Down Payment Assistance

Down payment assistance is a great benefit to leverage. Utilizing down payment assistance can help reduce your out of pocket expense when buying a home.

First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs

First time home buyers have access to many beneficial loan programs that make it easier to purchase a home.

Tips and Tricks

Surprisingly, there are loopholes and ways to structure your loan to help reduce costs ensuring you are receiving the best deal. I create a lot of content revolving around these tips and tricks. Check out my page to learn more!

Realtor Connections

We partner with many local realtors who can help you with finding the perfect home for you and your family. We can connect you with one when you're ready.

Around The Clock Service

Is there anything worse than feeling like your questions don't matter? Communication & education are the most important aspects of making the biggest purchase of your life. We're here for you every step of the way!

Reasons To Consider Working With Us

Be sure that you’re putting your trust in someone who will be there for you every step of the way on your path to homeownership. 

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Nick R.

Satisfied Homebuyer

5/5

Haydn was phenomenal to work with! He made the process very straightforward, answered all my questions, and was a pleasure to talk to. Highly recommend Haydn to anyone looking to buy a home!

Nathan P.

Satisfied Homebuyer

5/5

I had a great experience with Haydn. He was always available to answer all my questions, and explained things every step of the way.

Are you a person who like's more detail?

Here is a free homebuyer guide you can download for reference whenever you’d like. 

Downloadable PDF

Download the free PDF homebuyer guide that you can save for future reference.

Step by Step guide for home buyers

This will outline all of the information you might have questions on when it comes to buying a home.

Homebuying Glossary

All of the terms that are associated with the home buying process.

Free Homebuyer Guide

Ready to get pre-approved?

Getting pre-approved is the first step to when purchasing a home. Let’s get the ball rolling! 

Enter your information below to receive a FREE homebuyer guide.

VA Mortgages

No Down Payment Required: VA mortgages offer the advantage of not requiring a down payment, making homeownership more accessible for eligible veterans and active-duty service members.

Competitive Interest Rates: VA loans often feature competitive interest rates, which can save you money over the life of your mortgage.

No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance, which can reduce your monthly mortgage costs.

Flexible Credit Requirements: While there are no strict minimum credit score requirements, lenders may have their own standards, but VA loans tend to be more forgiving when it comes to credit history.

Funding Fee: Most VA borrowers pay a funding fee, which helps sustain the VA loan program but can be rolled into the loan amount, reducing the upfront costs of the mortgage.

Bank Statement Loans

Alternative Documentation: Bank statement mortgages are an alternative to traditional income documentation loans, allowing homebuyers to use their bank statements to prove their income.

Self-Employment and Income Variability: They are often a suitable choice for self-employed individuals or those with variable income streams, as they provide flexibility in verifying income.

Higher Interest Rates: Bank statement mortgages may come with slightly higher interest rates and fees compared to traditional mortgages due to the increased risk for lenders.

Strict Lender Requirements: Lenders may have specific requirements for the number of months’ worth of bank statements, minimum credit scores, and other criteria, so it’s crucial to understand the lender’s expectations.

Limited Availability: These mortgages are not offered by all lenders, so it’s important to research and find a lender experienced in bank statement mortgages if you believe this is the right option for your unique financial situation.

DSCR Mortgages

Commercial Real Estate Financing: Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) mortgages are typically used for commercial real estate investments and are not meant for traditional residential homebuyers.

Income-Driven Qualification: DSCR loans focus on the property’s income potential rather than the borrower’s personal income, so it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the property’s rental income or cash flow.

DSCR Calculation: Lenders assess the property’s DSCR by dividing the property’s net operating income (NOI) by the mortgage payment, so a higher DSCR indicates a better chance of loan approval.

Higher Down Payment: DSCR loans often require a larger down payment compared to residential mortgages, typically around 20% or more, so be prepared for higher upfront costs.

Rental Property Considerations: These loans are more suitable for real estate investors or individuals looking to purchase income-producing properties, and they often involve more stringent approval processes and underwriting criteria than traditional home mortgages.

USDA Mortgages

Rural Location Requirement: USDA mortgages are available for properties located in designated rural areas, so it’s important to ensure your desired home qualifies under the program’s location criteria.

No Down Payment Required: One of the most significant benefits of USDA loans is that they do not typically require a down payment, making homeownership more accessible for eligible borrowers.

Income Eligibility: USDA loans have income limits, and to qualify, your household income must fall within these limits, which vary by location and family size.

Guarantee or Direct Loans: USDA offers two types of loans: guaranteed loans from approved lenders and direct loans from the USDA itself, so it’s essential to understand the differences and choose the right option for your situation.

Funding Fee: While USDA loans don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI), they do involve an upfront and annual fee, which can be rolled into the loan but should be factored into your budget.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Initial Low Interest Rate: ARM mortgages typically offer a lower initial interest rate compared to fixed-rate mortgages, which can lead to lower initial monthly payments.

Interest Rate Adjustments: ARM loans have periodic interest rate adjustments, which can result in higher monthly payments if market interest rates rise.

Index and Margin: The interest rate adjustments are based on an index and a margin specified in the loan terms, and understanding how these components work is crucial for predicting future payment changes.

Caps and Limits: ARM mortgages often have interest rate caps and limits that restrict how much the interest rate can increase during each adjustment period or over the life of the loan.

Risk and Planning: Homebuyers need to carefully consider their financial situation and long-term housing plans as ARM loans can be riskier due to potential payment increases, but may be suitable for those who plan to move or refinance before the initial fixed-rate period ends.

Down Payment Assistance

Financial Assistance: Down payment assistance programs provide financial support to help homebuyers cover a portion of their down payment and sometimes closing costs.

Eligibility Requirements: These programs often have specific eligibility criteria, such as income limits, credit score requirements, and sometimes, the need to complete homebuyer education courses.

Types of Assistance: Down payment assistance can come in the form of grants, loans, or second mortgages, with some programs forgiving the assistance over time if certain conditions are met.

Program Availability: Availability and terms of down payment assistance programs vary by location and can be offered by federal, state, or local governments, as well as non-profit organizations or private entities.

Impact on Homeownership: Utilizing down payment assistance can make homeownership more achievable for those with limited savings, but it’s important to understand the terms and obligations associated with the assistance to make an informed decision.

Home Loan Refinance

Lower Interest Rates: Mortgage refinancing can enable you to secure a new loan with a lower interest rate, potentially reducing your monthly payments and saving you money over the life of the loan.

Equity Utilization: Refinancing can allow you to tap into your home’s equity, either through a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit (HELOC), providing funds for major expenses or debt consolidation.

Closing Costs: Be aware of the closing costs associated with refinancing, which can include fees for appraisal, title search, and application, and evaluate whether the potential savings outweigh these expenses.

Loan Term Adjustment: You can adjust the length of your mortgage term when refinancing, potentially switching from a 30-year to a 15-year loan or vice versa, which impacts your monthly payments and overall interest costs.

Credit and Financial Health: Your credit score and financial health play a significant role in your ability to refinance, so it’s important to maintain good credit and financial stability to secure the best terms and rates.

FHA Mortgages

Low Down Payment: FHA mortgages are known for their low down payment requirement, typically as low as 3.5% of the home’s purchase price.

Government-Backed: FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, reducing the risk for lenders and allowing borrowers with lower credit scores to qualify.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP): FHA loans require upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums, which increase the overall cost of the loan and should be factored into your budget.

Flexible Credit Requirements: FHA loans are more lenient regarding credit scores and may be accessible to borrowers with lower credit profiles, but individual lender requirements may vary.

Property Standards: FHA properties must meet specific safety and condition standards, and the loan can be used for various property types, including single-family homes, condos, and multi-unit properties.

Conventional Mortgages

Varying Down Payment Options: Conventional mortgages offer a range of down payment options, with the standard typically being around 20%, but some lenders may accept lower down payments.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If you make a down payment of less than 20%, you’ll likely need to pay for PMI until you reach 20% equity in the home, which adds to your monthly costs.

Credit Score Importance: Conventional loans often have stricter credit score requirements compared to some other loan types, so a good credit history is essential.

Loan Limits: Conventional loans have loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which can vary by location, and exceeding these limits may require a jumbo loan with different terms.

Fixed and Adjustable Rates: Conventional mortgages come in both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options, allowing you to choose the type of interest rate that suits your financial goals and risk tolerance.