Buying a home may seem a bit complicated, and sometimes it can be. It is important to understand what to expect when preparing to buy a home, and what to expect during the home buying process. Below we’ve provided a short outline of the five main milestones of the home buying process.
You’re ready to buy a home, congratulations! The very first step to take if you are ready to start your new home search is to get pre-qualified. This is a no-cost, no-commitment, 10-20 minute analysis that will give you a great starting point for your new home loan. You can do this in-person or on the phone with a loan officer, or in most cases complete an online form. Your lender will be able to determine an estimate of your maximum monthly mortgage payment and how much you can borrow. Pre-qualifying for a loan before you go home shopping helps you set a budget and strengthen your negotiating position when making an offer.
Once you have found a home, you will make an offer to buy it from the seller. A real estate professional will conduct negotiations and a contract will be submitted to purchase, accompanied by the pre-qualification letter. Once your offer is accepted, you will receive your initial disclosure package and you will begin the application process. You will most likely need to provide your loan officer and processor with updated income and asset documentation, such as pay stubs and bank statements. To ensure your loan stays on track, you’ll want to have your docs completed quickly and thoroughly.
In this step of the process, your appraisal and title work will be ordered. Once all necessary documentation is present, the processor will review everything for completion and accuracy. He/she will verify information on the title work, appraisal, credit report and any additional docs needed. Once the processor has completely reviewed the full application package, he/she will pass it on to the underwriter. Your loan officer will keep you informed, answer any questions and navigate you through the loan processing stage.
Once your loan gets to this milestone, the underwriter will review the entire loan package to determine if your loan meets the guidelines for approval. Your underwriter will review your disclosures, credit, asset documentation, employment, appraisal and additional documents along with the loan program’s guidelines and regulations. Once conditions have been met and any contingencies on the loan have been cleared, the underwriter will give the clear to close/final approval and the loan is sent to closing. Once the loan gets through underwriting, you’ve rounded the last turn and are in the home stretch!
You are now in the final home loan milestone, closing! A date, time and location should have already been confirmed for closing. At least 3 days prior to closing, you will receive your closing disclosure (CD). This document shows your closing costs, terms of the loan and how much money you need to bring to settlement. Once at settlement, documents will be signed, funds will be distributed and ownership of the property will transfer from the current owners to you. The house is finally yours!
It may seem like a long process, but we strive to make it as seamless as possible. If you are ready to start your home buying process, contact one of our loan officers today!