First-time home-buying guide
Being a first-time homebuyer can be overwhelming. At Homepoint, we want to help make the home buying process as simple and straightforward as possible. To get started on your path to homeownership, follow these steps:
1. Decide if buying makes sense
While homeownership is undoubtedly a large financial commitment, it can come with a lot of benefits. Start with our frequently asked questions about homebuying to make sure that buying makes sense for your situation compared to renting or even renovating.
2. Make sure you're loan ready
Review your credit history with Experian, Transunion or Equifax (or all three) to ensure your credit score and credit history look good. Now is the time to resolve any outstanding issues or work to raise your credit score. (Check out our article, Tips for Improving Your Credit Score, for additional information.)
Start to compile the documents you'll need throughout the loanprocess, such as:
- 30 days of pay stubs
- Two years of tax returns and W-2s
- Year to date business statements (if you're self-employed)
- Explanations and paper trail for deposits or withdrawals above $1,000
- Home insurance quote
- Information about any additional homes/businesses you own
3. Find the loan that works best for you
There a number of variables that can affect your monthly payments - the size of your down payment, etc. Review the types of loan programs available to you based on your financial situation.
4. Get Pre-Approved
This is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. It informs you about what loan terms you can work with and it reflects your commitment to the process. In addition, most real estate agents will require a pre-approval before they begin helping you shop for your first home.
5. Find a real estate professional
Seek out a trusted real estate agent who will confidently guide you through the home buying process. They will set up viewing appointments on your behalf and provide you with information about the homes in which you are interested. Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about your area so they can provide information about schools, crime rates, transportation, etc.
6. Find the home of your dreams and make an offer
Once you've selected a real estate agent, it's time to find your dream home! When you do, your real estate agent will walk you through the process of making an offer.