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Buying a Home Checklist

First-Time Homebuyer’s Checklist

first time home buyers holding for sale sign

Make sure you’re really ready

  • You have a stable job.
  • You can see yourself living in the same town for the next 5 to 10 years.
  • You’re prepared for the extra work that comes with homeownership.

Design your home wish list

  • Figure out what’s most important for you right now. Examples: number of bedrooms, locations, yard…
  • Explore the different neighborhoods, home styles and listings online to get a feel for what’s most important to you.

Determine what you can afford

  • Request your credit report from all three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, Experian. If you find any errors, fix them right away.
  • Determine a down payment amount. A 20% downpayment will avoid private mortgage insurance costs, but depending on your credit score, you may be eligible for much less down payments.
  • Set aside an emergency fund for unexpected maintenance or repair costs.

Gather necessary documents

  • Collect proof of employment, including pay stubs and past tax returns.
  • Print out 90 days of bank and investment account statements.
  • Collect a list of your previous addresses and current landlord’s contact information.

Research mortgages

  • Comparison shop for loans. Get quotes from multiple lenders.
  • Get pre-qualified for a loan. Many home sellers will not consider a bid unless you’re pre-qualified.
  • Acquire a pre-approval letter. You will need a credit and background check.

Build your team

  • Find a real estate agent you trust. Our team would love to help.
  • Ask a friend or family member for second opinions as you navigate the buying process.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.