First-time home-buying guide
There's a lot to think about when buying your first home, which can be both fun and overwhelming. At Homepoint, we want to help make the home buying process as simple and straightforward as possible. Read through this helpful guide to get started on your path to homeownership.
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 loan process, 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 are many variables that can affect your monthly payments, including the size of your down payment. Review the types of loan programs available to you based on your financial situation.
4. Get pre-approved
Pre-approval is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. It informs you about what loan terms you can work with and 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, and more.
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.