Home Buying 101: Key Steps and What to Anticipate

Preparing to purchase your first home? To ease the process, breaking it down step by step can make it less overwhelming. Here’s a brief overview of the homebuying journey and what you can expect.

It’s crucial to recognize that the timeline from the beginning to the house closing can vary based on market conditions and various factors. Consequently, expect the process to range from as short as 15 weeks to eight months or more.

One of the initial steps involves assessing your financial options. Will you apply for an FHA loan? Is your credit in good standing? Addressing these questions early on can help secure funding and set you on the right path.

Once everything is in order or if you want more insights into financial matters, connect with a mortgage lender for pre-approval. In today’s seller’s market, a pre-approval letter is essential to demonstrate your candidacy to sellers. Additionally, a lender can assist in establishing your initial budget and addressing any loose ends to secure a favorable mortgage rate.

With approval in hand and a real estate agent by your side, it’s time to explore property listings. Whether you rely on homes recommended by your realtor or listings available online, it’s advisable to narrow down search results based on criteria such as price range, location, and the number of bathrooms. Maintaining realistic expectations streamlines the overall process.

Once suitable options are identified, schedule tours to personally assess the properties. While virtual tours are helpful, an on-site assessment is ideal before making a commitment. When you’re ready to make an offer, be prepared for potential competition. Collaborate with your realtor to negotiate with sellers and refine any contingencies to secure your desired home.

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Upon acceptance of your offer, you enter the due diligence period. Schedule a home inspection and appraisal during this phase, adapting the process based on your desired timeline. While modifications are possible, these steps should not be overlooked.

Subsequently, the underwriting process begins, taking a few days or weeks, depending on the complexity of your assets. An underwriter reviews and verifies your finances and property details. Staying responsive to the lender and underwriter is vital to keep the process moving.

Finally, the closing stage arrives. After finalizing the loan, both parties review the deal, conduct a last walk-through of the house, and, if all checks out, complete the final paperwork, transfer funds, and receive the keys to your new home.

For a detailed breakdown of the homebuying timeline, explore the accompanying resource.

Infographic provided by The Sherry Riano Team, learn more about VA mortgage loans

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