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Getting Started

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial challenge any individual will face. To help you become more knowledgeable of the home buying process, we have included some steps to home ownership.

Is Home ownership Right For You

  • Do I have a steady, reliable source of income?
  • Have I been employed regularly for the last 2 years?
  • Do I pay my bills on time?
  • Is my total debt manageable?
  • Do I have some money saved for a down payment and closing costs (some mortgage programs do not require a down payment or closing cost to be paid by you)?
  • Can I afford both mortgage and other expenses (water, electric, sewer, and repairs)?

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, you are probably on your way to home ownership

What Can You Afford
Before you begin to look for a home, you need to determine how you are going to finance your purchase.

Use the Home Mortgage Calculator to help you determine how much you can afford.

Reduce Your Debt
The fewer credit cards you carry and the lower the balances the better. That is especially true if you have other debts such as a car or student loan. However, do not pay down or pay off balances with cash intended for a down payment. Even if you choose a low-down payment option, you are going to need cash available to pay the down payment and closing costs.

Review Your Credit
When you look for a mortgage, lenders will review your credit report. Your credit report is a history of how you have managed your finances and repaid your debt. Your credit history is pulled together by three private companies. You may receive a copy of this report by contacting one of the following agencies:

PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (800) 685-1111

National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (888) EXPERIAN

Trans Union LLC
Consumer Disclosure Center
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Phone: (800) 888-4213

Choose An Area
Choosing the right area in which to purchase your home, may take a lot of homework. Do you want something close to work or in a certain school district. Below are some factors that may help you choose a particular neighborhood.

  • Overall Appearance
  • Community Services
  • Zoning and Building Regulations
  • Property and City Taxes
  • Environment Conditions
  • Public Safety

Download Home Buyers Checklist for Buying a Home

Make An Offer
When you make an offer, the seller of the home can accept or reject it, make a counter-offer or not respond. Many buyers believe that even though they have made an offer, they can still look at other homes. However, if you are notified that the seller has accepted your offer, it’s a legally binding contract. If the seller rejects your offer, makes a counteroffer or doesn’t respond, your options remain open. You can accept the counteroffer, make another offer or reject it and keep looking.

Obtain Financing
After you are notified that the seller has accepted your offer and before the transaction is complete, you will need to obtain a loan. You should become familiar with the types of loans available.

Gather The Information
You will be required to provide some information to your loan officer. Because of the different types of loans available, loan officers may require different information. Be sure to verify all needed information with your loan officer.

Consider Your Options
In addition to providing your finanicial information, you will also need to communicate with the loan officer the type of loan you are interested in, the amount of money you want to borrow, the down payment you will be making, the date you would like to close, and the interest rate you would like to secure. If you have questions about any of these steps, our Mortgage Loan Officer will be glad to assist.

Up Front Fees
Although costs and terms vary among different loan programs, you should be prepared to pay some fees (application fee, appraisal fee, credit report fee, flood certification fee, and income verification and analysis fee). Check with your Mortgage Loan Officer on which ones to expect.

Close The Sale
The final step to buying a home is the closing. The closing is the process in which all of the players come together to complete the sale. These players usually include:

  • You, the home buyer
  • The seller of the home
  • The closing agent
  • The real estate attorneys for the buyers and sellers
  • The mortgage lender
  • The real estate professional
  • A title insurance representative
  • An escrow agent

You will sign a number of documents related to the mortgage, as well as pay closing costs. Your closing costs may be part of your mortgage or they might be paid by the seller or builder of the home. Each closing is different.

For more information on Home Mortgage Options, click here to send us your questions, or contact us at 1-888-993-8754.


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