We can help you learn the Home Buying Process

Steps to Buying a House

8 Steps to Buying a House

Buying a house can be an exciting dream or an overwhelming nightmare. Is this the right time? Can I afford it? Where does the process begin? These questions may be the first thoughts but there are many that appear during the first steps of buying a house. We’ve identified eight basic steps. They address the preparation, the search and finally, the offer and purchase. These steps are designed to give confidence. But as simple as they may seem, each provides additional information and links for the unforeseen challenge.


How Much Home Can You Afford?

Set a Budget, Get PreQualified & PreApproved. Use our guidelines to set your price.

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Defining Your Needs & Wants

Perform a Needs Assessment to assess priorities. Discuss priorities like schools, neighborhoods, bedrooms, bathrooms and more.

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Tour Neighborhoods & Homes

Research neighborhoods, preview homes and start a short list. Preview homes and start narrowing down your choices.

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Make an Offer on a Home

Review comparable homes, analyze value and prepare an offer.

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Processing the Loan

Final loan application and processing.

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Home Inspection and Appraisal

Getting your home inspected and appraised.

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Title Processing

Final paperwork to prepare the title.

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Closing on Your Home

Final paperwork to close on your home.

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Step 1

How Much Home Can You Afford?

Knowing a few things about loans, mortgages and insurance can go a long way in the prequalification process. Prequalification is the beginning of the formal loan application process. At this stage, we establish how much you can and want to spend on your new home. Additionally, an experienced lender will look at your long and short-term financial goals and present you with the appropriate loan programs. If you do not already have a selected lender, let us know because we have several that we can recommend.
Step 2

Your Needs and Wants

We will sit down with you and discuss what your requirements are for a home. It is important that we have a clear idea of what your priorities are as they pertain to your day to day life. We will discuss:

  • Lifestyle
  • Finances & budget
  • Desired neighborhoods
  • School requirements
  • Commute time
  • Style of home
  • Size requirements, etc.
  • Your expectations how long does it take to buy a house

Step 3

Tour Homes & Neighborhoods

Once we have determined your favorite areas we start to view homes in those areas. We generally preview before we take a buyer. The purpose of previewing is to eliminate those homes that have some kind of resale issue or major problem. By previewing we are able to eliminate the number of homes you will have to look at before you actually get in the car.

Step 4

Make an Offer on a Home

Once we have established value, we determine how much we would like to offer. This decision is based on a combination of actual market value, your perceived value of the property, property condition as it relates to the number of inspection items we think we might have to ask for.

Once we have the property under contract the due diligence period begins. Our goal during this period is to systematically remove all contingencies. These contingencies are short periods of time to get the financing in order (loan conditions), verify that the property condition is acceptable (inspection objection) and to make sure the title is clear and merchantable (title objection).

Step 5

Processing the Loan

Once we have an accepted offer we are officially “Under Contract”, we send a copy of the agreement (contract) to the lender. The lender, in turn, starts to process the entire loan application. The loan goes into underwriting. Loan Underwriting by definition is "The analysis of risk and the decision whether to make a loan to a potential Homebuyer based on credit, employment, assets, and other factors".

Step 6

Home Inspection and Appraisal

The inspection is our time in the house with a trained professional, time to discover the true condition of the property you are about to buy. This is why the choice of an Inspector is an important one.

This is a process of putting together a list, if the inspection yields any unsatisfactory conditions. We present this list to the Sellers agent who in turn reviews it with the Sellers. They have two choices, to agree to all conditions of our requests or to propose an alternative resolution. If they propose an alternative resolution, the buyer has the opportunity to either accept the resolution or walk away from the deal with earnest money intact.

The lender will arrange to have the property appraised. This is an upfront charge that the lender will collect at loan application. A professional, licensed appraiser will research the value of your home.

Step 7

Title Processing

The seller must be able to provide, via the Title Company, a clear and merchantable title to the purchaser. The title company includes all parties in their research, so as a result, you will receive extensive paperwork throughout the transaction period. The Title Company provides a current status on the title. This is usually where a flag will appear for any potential problems by notifying all parties what liens and/or judgments need to be paid at closing. The Title Company also provides a proposed commitment for your new title policy. This is where your lender will be listed as a lien holder. Title companies must also provide covenants and Home Owners Association documents. We review these documents for any potential problems prior to the title deadlines set forth in the contract.

Step 8

Closing on Your Home

Prior to attending the closing, we walk through the property one more time to make sure any contractual inclusions are still at the property. Additionally, we make sure the property condition is acceptable, prior to the Seller receiving funds.

We review the final figures making sure there are no excessive lender fees or erroneous closing costs. Our goal is to eliminate unpleasant surprises at the closing table.