First Time Home Buyer Guide

Mortgage Pre-Approval Steps for First Time Home Buyers

When buying your first home, the unknown can be scary. Let us ease your fears by providing you a step-by-step process!

  • Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage - Before you start shopping for a house, you will need to know how much you can spend on your new home; you’ll need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Your mortgage consultant will order your credit report and you’ll submit financial documents (paycheck stubs, W2s, bank statements, etc.) so your loan consultant can determine your price range and optimal mortgage program. 
  • Find the Right Real Estate Agent - Real estate agents are important when you are buying a new home. They can provide you with helpful information about homes that aren’t available to the public. Their experience is valuable in finding you the perfect home in the area you wish to live and in the price range you are pre-approved for. If needed, we can introduce you to realtors who have the experience and knowledge that will benefit you in your search.
  • Shop for Your Home - It’s now time to tour homes that fit your needs. Take notes, pictures, and videos, as it can be difficult at times to remember all of the details. Once you have found the home you would like to purchase, contact your loan consultant to check your approval of that particular home. Let us make sure you are comfortable with the monthly house payment and the money out of pocket. If you are comfortable, it’s time to make an offer on the home. 
  • Make an Offer - Work with your realtor to present an offer based on market conditions (the value of comparable homes).
  • Offer Accepted - Notify your mortgage consultant with the exciting news as soon as possible.
  • Get a Home Inspection - Schedule your home inspection to check for anything that may need fixing. Your realtor can assist with this. 
  • Loan Processing - The loan processor will email you a packet of mortgage disclosures. This packet will include the program and terms that you have decided are best for you based on your discussions with the loan consultant. These should be reviewed, signed, and returned or electronically acknowledged. The loan processor may request that you submit updated or missing financial documents. A title commitment is also obtained to assure clear title on the property. 
  • Appraisal - The appraisal can be ordered once the mortgage disclosures have been acknowledged. The loan processor will arrange for this. The appraisal confirms that you are paying a fair price for your new home. 
  • Underwriting - The underwriter reviews the complete loan package. This includes your paycheck stubs, W2s. tax returns (if applicable), bank statements, other assets, disclosures, etc., as well as the title commitment and the appraisal. Typically, a conditional loan approval is issued. This means that the underwriter may request an updated document or explanation of something that has been submitted to them. These are called “conditions”.
  • Final Approval/Clear to Close - This is issued by the underwriter when all conditions are reviewed and approved by the underwriter. It is now time to schedule your closing.
  • Closing - The closing is the finish line when you become a homeowner! The closing documents are provided to the title company. The signing of the documents will occur at the title company or the realtor’s office. The title company representative will review the documents with you as you sign them.

Congratulations! You’re now a homeowner!