The decision to buy a home is one of the most important choices you’ll ever make. Getting started with the process can be intimidating, whether you’re buying your first home or have purchased one in the past. In this week’s blog from CalStar Mortgage, we’ll walk through the basic steps in the homebuying process, with information about both finding and financing a home. Our mortgage professionals serve clients in La Cañada Flintridge, CA, and we’d love to help you. Call us with questions, to get a quote, or to schedule a consultation.
Evaluate Your Finances with a Mortgage Professional
Before you can begin to look for homes, you’ll need to know how much house you can afford. This means you’ll need to carefully evaluate your current finances and savings and make some projections for how much you will be able to afford in the future. A mortgage professional, sometimes known as a mortgage agent or broker, can help with this process. Mortgage professionals represent several different lenders to offer competitive interest rates and terms to meet different clients’ needs. Your mortgage professional will look at your credit score, your savings, your employment history and other factors that affect your worthiness as a borrower.
Find Out How Much You Can Borrow
Once your broker has a better picture of your finances, you should be able to get preapproved or prequalified for a mortgage. Prequalification requires minimal paperwork and will give you and your real estate agent a price range to stay within while looking for a home, while preapproval is a quote for a specific loan amount that requires more documentation like paycheck stubs, W-2s, and credit scores.
Find a Real Estate Agent and a Home
You can begin to look for a real estate agent on your own or your mortgage professional may recommend one in the local area. Once you’ve determined how large of a loan you are eligible for, your agent will show you homes in your price range and meeting your requirements in the local area. Once you find a home you love, you’ll coordinate with your real estate agent and mortgage professional to start the process of making an offer.
Make an Offer and Complete Inspections
When you make an offer, your real estate agent will communicate with whoever is representing the seller and negotiate for you. If the seller accepts your offer, the home will go into escrow – which is the first step in finalizing the sale.
Once you’re in escrow, you’ll get a home inspection on the property you’ve chosen. Typically, the offer you’ve already made is contingent on this inspection. This means if anything comes up during inspection that may require money out of pocket to repair, you can ask the seller to make the repairs or adjust your offer accordingly to mitigate the cost.
Appraisal and Closing
Before your lender will finalize your loan and coordinate paperwork, you’ll also need to get an appraisal on your new home. This appraisal shows you, your lender and the seller that you’re paying a fair price for the home. Once appraisal is complete, your mortgage broker will begin preparing your closing paperwork for your loan. When your loan is finalized, your lender will pay the seller for your home, and the home is yours.
Get Started with Us Today
This is just a basic introduction to steps in the homebuying process, and every transaction is unique. Make sure to contact CalStar Mortgage Inc., in La Cañada Flintridge, CA, when you’re ready to take the first step on the journey to buy the home of your dreams.