I think I am ready to buy a home, now what?
Buying a first home (or even a 5th home) can be daunting. I would like to break it down to the basics and provide a simplified home buying process. Please be aware that the complexity of the process can depend on special circumstances including buyer income (self-employed, w-2), assets (liquidity, documentable source of funds, use of grants), home of choice (short sale, foreclosure, rent back, etc., need for repairs), mortgage readiness (credit issues, down payment, employment).
Our goal is to educate our buyers and our realtor partners and help the buyer to make the best decision to meet their financial goals when buying a home.
The first step would be to talk to a loan officer to discuss your mortgage readiness and to determine the monthly payment you will be comfortable paying. This may be very different than the payment you can qualify for in today's market.
- Initial conversation to discuss where you are and where you hope to be.
- Complete our finance information questionnaire. This will help us to get the best idea of your big picture goals as well as your current financial picture.
- Credit, Income and Asset Review. This will help us to know if you are mortgage ready or if there are some things we need to work together to resolve prior to a home purchase. Resolve is needed.
- Determine a comfortable monthly payment which will help us to help you and your agent to have a price range for your home search.
- Start working with competent, professional Realtor and begin looking at property listings to narrow down your needs, wants, and definite "No way"s.
- Find a home that meets or exceeds above
- Submit documentation to support pre-qualification letter for review (w-2's-2 years, pay stubs, bank statements, any other necessary docs)
- Submit a contract offer, negotiate, finalize contract -Please note, this may not be a one time event!
- Contract Acceptance
- Complete Mortgage Application, sign all required documents needed for submission to lender, provide additional documentation as required to support application
- Home Inspection, negotiate and required/requested repairs
- Appraisal and Title Request, Review Appraisal/Title upon receipt, Clear conditions if any
- Mortgage Package submitted to lender, receive conditional approval, clear conditions, receive clear to close
- Schedule Settlement
- Settlement-Sign lender specific loan package (typically buyers, sellers, realtors and loan officer and Title Rep are present)
- Receive keys and move in! You are now a HOME OWNER!!
Please note, this is a very simplified time line, but can give you a good idea of the process.
A good loan officer will work to educate you on the process, and help you to navigate through that process to a smooth settlement. It is very important that you find a loan officer that is knowledgeble about the market, and has access to tools that will help them to help you make the best decision for your loan. The should offer competitive pricing and will work to help you to find the right loan for you and your situation. They need to be accessible- Do they call you back when you call? Do they answer the questions you have? Do they anticipate your needs, concerns? Do they come recommended? If they are giving you estimates, are they including all anticipated fees, not just the basics?
It is very exciting when you are ready to purchase a home, whether it is your first home or your last. I hope this answers the question, "I think I am ready to buy, now what?"
If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure!
If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest. Please contact me at 410-960-2061.