You have decided to buy a home - great! Now what?
1. Determine your needs VS your wants list.
* This list will change throughout the process; however, it is good to know where you are flexible early on.
2. Start collecting the documentation you will need for a preapproval.
* A good starting point is for everyone on the loan to get:
* Last two pay stubs / Last 2 years tax returns / Last 2 years W2s
* Last two months bank statements and any investment statements
* Any proof of additional income you want to claim (retirement, rentals, child support, etc)
3. Interview real estate agents to see which one you click with. Don't go with someone based on solely a recommendation but talk to that agent. See how they work and if they will be able to meet your individual needs.
4. Get preapproved! This is a critical step in the process. You want to know your buying power before you even start looking at houses. Talk to several lenders. Get the best deal for you. Your real estate agent should have several local mortgage officers they can recommend as often sellers will take local bank offers over online preapprovals.
5. Be ready to look at houses on your free time and even when you are not free. The market is intense and houses are only lasting days on market. For you to get one, you have to stay ready. This is where your agent and you stay on alert to find the right home and move quickly. Having a preapproval at this point is required, so get it done early.
6. Great! You have found a home. Next comes an offer. This is the legal document drawn up by your Real Estate Broker and they should go over many, many options with you, in detail. Dont get discouraged if your first few offers do not win, as you will find the right home!
7. You won the offer! Yay... now what? Click here to see the upcoming timeframes on your new purchase!