Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the most important first step you take once you've decided that you're going to purchase a new home. Before you get ready to start the process, make sure you have all the necessary information and documents handy: last two years of tax returns, 90-days of the most recent bank statements, and 30-days of most recent pay stubs. Getting pre-approved will give you confidence and peace of mind during the home buying process.
After you have your pre-approval, the next step is to find a real estate agent to work for you. Having the right real estate professional helping you throughout the home buying process will ensure that the process goes smoothly. If you're not sure what a real estate agent can do for you, check out our guide on how to find a great real estate agent.
Now is the time to take the list of wants and needs for your next home and communicate those with your real estate agent. The more they understand what you're looking for and why those things are important to you, the better they can help you find the right home for your family. If you need help narrowing down what you're looking for, you can create a must-have and want lists to keep you focused. You can also see our guide to finding the right size home for your family for additional help.
Once you've found your dream home and had your offer accepted, the next step is to go through inspection and appraisal. We highly recommend making your offer contingent on a satisfactory home inspection. A home inspection is done by a licensed builder that is there to educate you on the condition of the home you're buying. If you are comfortable with the results of your inspection, we will move forward by letting your lender know you are ready to order your appraisal.
Congratulations! At closing you will become the new owner of the home and will go over all the necessary documents to make everything official. Closing itself usually takes no more than an hour, and at the end of the appointment you will walk out as a new home owner!