The Homebuyer's Journey: A Guide Pt. 1

Buying your first home is a huge part of the American Dream — and is also a daunting, potentially overwhelming process. Here’s how to get started and what to expect along the way.


What do you want to buy?

1. Consider the Type of Property

Condo? Apartment? Single-family home? New construction? Prefabricated? The list goes on.

2. Know Where You Want To Go

Research the parts of town where you might be buying: talk to friends, join social media groups, etc.

3. Try To Predict the Neighborhood’s Future

Dig into future development plans so you know whether this area will remain a good fit for several years.

4. Spend the Night In the Area

Try to get a feel for how you like it 24/7, through an entire week if possible.

 

Money matters

5. Get Some Credit

Check your credit report for errors and correct them. Then start working to improve your score.

6. Go Big On Your Down Payment

Not every mortgage loan requires 20% down, but the more you can save up, the more you’ll save long-term.

7. Consider Your Total Monthly Out-of-Pocket Amount

Taxes, insurance, and PMI will all be wrapped into one monthly mortgage payment.

8. Budget for Other Home Buying Costs

Closing costs, title insurance, inspections, appraisals, and other expenses can quickly add up.

9. Understand What You Can Afford and Get Pre-Approved

Talk to a mortgage broker about your income and debt limitations, then get pre-approved for a loan.