Are you searching for a home? It’s a lot more than just browsing through Zillow and choosing a place that you like!

Up Next: Top 10 Mortgage Mistakes To Avoid

Follow this essential checklist for new homebuyers to ensure a smooth home hunt!

Calculate How Much You Can Realistically Afford

home checklistBefore you search for a home, you must figure out how much home you can realistically afford. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio or your monthly debts in relation to your gross monthly income. Lenders use this number to determine your eligibility.

Also, work out a budget for monthly expenses. Buying outside of your means could mean you will end up house poor. If you have a variable income, you will need to get the right paperwork, have proof of income, and a healthy down payment and savings.

Save Up For A Down Payment & Other Fees

Saving up for a reasonable down payment will give you an edge by showing the seller your commitment. This payment is made in cash and is a percentage of the home cost. The traditional percentage is 20%, but it can vary. In some cases, you can put down a lower down payment to get into the housing market sooner and avoid draining your savings.

Remember to save up enough for other fees such as homeowner’s insurance, title insurance, and origination fees.

Find A Reputable Realtor

A reputable, professional Realtor will have experience in the area you want to purchase, such as residential, and know the area. They will also work with you as a team and communicate clearly with you. A good, reputable realtor will be able to tell you about:

Find A Lender & Get Pre-Approved

Always find a lender and get pre-approved before you start shopping for a home! Getting pre-approved means that a lender has checked your credit, bank statements, and other essential documents to approve you for a specific loan amount.

Sellers want to see that you have the blessing of a lender, which will give you a step-up in the housing market. A good lender will work with you to find the best mortgage home loan for you.

Get The Home Inspected & Appraised

When you have made an offer on a home, get it inspected and appraised! A home appraisal is used to obtain an accurate description of the property in question and form an independent judgment of the home’s value.

A home inspection will detect any home defects that need to be corrected before purchase, such as a poor foundation or leaky roof.

Review Your Closing Disclosure

Review your closing disclosure before you close! This document outlines the terms of your mortgage, as well as all costs associated with it. Ensure all information is correct and compare the costs here to those on your most recent loan estimate. Correct all mistakes immediately and get an explanation from your lender if a cost increased.

Apply For A Home Loan Today!
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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.