- Determine what you can afford
- Find a real estate agent
- Find a house and negotiate contract terms
- Shop for your loan; compare multiple Good Faith Estimates
- Choose best loan for you
- Mortgage Originator processes your loan
- Have house inspected
- Shop for other service providers
- Loan is approved
- Get insurances and do a final walk through
- Go to your closing
- Move in
Determine what you can afford: To determine how much you can afford, you first need to know your monthly income. Second, you will need to calculate your monthly expenses which may include credit card bills, car payments, insurance premiums and all other debts. I have a worksheet I can give you that will help you calculate your income and expenses to help determine what you can afford.
Keeping your payments affordable is the best way to avoid foreclosure or other financial difficulties. While mortgage lenders will tell you how much they are willing to lend you (the loan amount you qualify for), and are required to consider your ability to repay the loan before they make the loan, you probably know your finances better then anyone, so you should determine how much you are willing and able to pay every month for your home.
Shopping for a house: Role of the Real Estate Agent or Broker: Frequently, the first person you consult about buying a home is a real estate agent or broker. Although agents and brokers provide helpful advice, they may legally be representing the interests of the seller and not yours. It is your responsibility to search for an agent who will represent your interests in the real estate transaction. If you want someone to represent your interests, consider hiring an “exclusive buyer’s agent,” who will be working for you. Even if the agent represents the seller, state law usually require that you are treated fairly. If you have any questions concerning behavior of an agent or broker, you should contact the Real Estate Commission. Sometimes the agent or broker will offer to help you obtain a mortgage loan. He or she may also recommend that you deal with a particular lender, mortgage broker, title company, attorney or settlement/closing agent. You are not required to follow the real estate broker’s recommendation, and you should compare the costs and services offered by other providers before making a decision. Information obtained from Bankers Trust’s Shopping for Your Home Loan Settlement Cost Booklet for this article.Information provided by Lori Slings, Bankers Trust, 3820 8th Street SW, Altoona, Iowa 50009 (515) 245-5624 firstname.lastname@example.org NMLS ID: 406021 BankersTrust.com