Step 1: Get pre-qualified.
Once you've decided you want to buy a home, you should determine what payment amount you can comfortably afford. We provide many tools, like an affordability calculator, that give you a general idea of what your payment would be, but it's best to get pre-qualified. A pre-qualification is beneficial in many ways. First, it gives you an idea of the loan amount and purchase price you can afford, so you can focus your home search on only those houses you know you can qualify for. Second, it strengthens your offer to the seller and the seller's real estate agent. They know you qualify for the amount you are offering. Third, you're getting a jump start on the approval process. Once you find your home and open escrow, you're already a few steps ahead. Get pre-qualified today.
Step 2: Determine which mortgage loan best suits your needs.
There are many loan options available, from first-time buyer programs to VA and traditional conventional. There are 30-year and 15-year fixed rate loans as well as adjustable rate, and hybrid loans such as a 5/1 ARM or 3/1 ARM. With all the options available, you need expert advice to help you choose the right loan for your situation. Be sure to visit the Loan Options page to learn about all the choices that are available. And if you have questions, just call one of our home buying experts.
Step 3: Contact a real estate agent and start shopping.
Once you've been pre-qualified and know the price range you qualify for, you can work with a Realtor to view homes for sale in the areas where you'd like to live. Need a Realtor? No problem. We can help there too. Once you find a home you like, you can work with the Realtor to draw up an offer and complete a purchase agreement. The seller has the option to submit a counter-offer and you may go through several rounds of offers and counters before reaching an agreement.
Step 4: Review your loan application and update your loan.
Depending on how much time has passed since we issued your pre-qualification, we may need to collect some updated information and documents from you. We will probably have everything we need, but it is a good idea to go over the home purchase document checklist within our document portal to be sure.
Once we have updated your file, your Loan Officer will go over the details of your loan program, confirm the rate you want, and discuss your closing fees. We'll make sure you understand every detail of your loan program and will answer any questions you have before moving forward.
Step 5: Lock your rate.
At this point, if you'd like to secure your interest rate, your Loan Officer will send you a lock agreement to confirm the terms of the loan and rate.
Step 6: Get a home inspection and appraisal.
It is advisable to schedule a home inspection with a professional who will walk you through the property to look for any red flags such as structural damages or appliances that may not be working properly and other items that may need to be fixed. It is a small investment for some peace of mind. Any major issues will need to be addressed before the settlement date. While your loan is being reviewed and processed, we will schedule an appraisal appointment with the seller's agent to confirm the value of the home. Unlike a home inspection, the appraisal is a requirement to ensure the home is worth what you are paying for it.
Step 7: Get your loan approval and sign the documents.
When we have everything we need, your complete file will be submitted to the underwriting department for approval. Once approved, we will prepare loan documents for you to sign. The closing (where you will sign the documents) will be held at an approved settlement agent’s office. Generally, it will take 30 minutes to an hour. And when you're done, you're the proud owner of a new home.