First-Time Homebuyer’s Checklist
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.
- 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.