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Buying a home

Step 0. Search homes to see if any home that you like.

Step 1. Are you ready to buy a home?

When buying a home, you will be faced with many decisions. The first is whether you are actually ready to buy. Finding the right home is not always easy, and getting a mortgage loan can be time-consuming and complicated. To help you decide if you’re ready to buy, let us take you through the steps a mortgage lending institution uses to decide if you qualify for a mortgage loan. When you take out a loan, you sign documents that say you promise to pay back the loan. When a mortgage lending institution makes your loan, it has determined that there is a good likelihood that you can keep that promise. The mortgage lender knows that it does not help you or the lending institution if you are given a loan, but then, for any reason, are unable to make the payments each month. To decide if you will be able to repay the loan, the lender will look at many different pieces of information about you. This process is called “underwriting.” These pieces of information show how well you have repaid your debts in the past, whether you are likely to repay your debts in the future, and your ability to repay the mortgage and your current debts. There are some general guidelines that help a lender in looking at these pieces of information about you. But you should also remember that there is some flexibility in these guidelines, because everyone’s financial situation is different. If you are very strong in one area, it may help balance out another area in which you aren’t quite as strong.

Step 2. Find out how much you can afford.

You can save yourself a lot of time if you take a minute to figure out how much mortgage you can afford ahead of the time. In general, a lender will want your monthly debts (including car payment, credit card debt and mortgage payment) to total no more than 29% of your monthly gross income ( your yearly salary divided by 12). You also need to consider current loan interest rates. The lower the interest rate, the more expensive the home you'll be able to afford. Follow our tips and use these simple calculators to see how much you can afford in a mortgage payment. Visit the following two links to find out more details.

  • How much home can you afford?
  • Buy vs. Rent

Step 3. Locate the candidate properties

Complete the new home check list. Search the local newspaper, ask friends/relatives/co-workers. Drive around the neighborhood that your candidate property located. Search on the local multiple listing. Finally and most effectively is to find a good realtor. You'll want to start searching for a broker as soon as you decide to buy a home. Talk to several and find someone you think you'll be comfortable working closely with. Many of your friends and relatives have probably bought and sold their homes through brokers. Ask them who they used and what their experiences were. You can find out which brokers specialize in the kind of home or the area you want by looking in the Yellow Pages or your local newspaper's classified real estate ads. Or drive through neighborhoods and note the names of brokers on "for sale" signs. When you talk to prospective brokers, ask questions about the areas and types of homes in which you're interested. Do they seem knowledgeable? Most important, is their personal style a good fit with your own? Here is how to select a good realtor.

Step 4. Shop for the mortgage to finance your future property

Many different kinds of mortgages are available to you. Read about them, and make sure you understand the pros and cons of each. Your real estate broker can help you. HUD offers some special homebuying programs. Also, many local governments offer special homebuying programs to help low-income homebuyers. Shop around - you may be surprised at all your options!
  • Find a mortgage

Step 5. Shop for your future home

Now you really begin house-hunting. Your real estate broker will be able to find listings for you, based on your wishlist. But don't stop there! You can do your own looking, and then ask your broker to show you the house. Start with the Internet. Pick up real estate flyers at local grocery stores and convenience stores. Read the real estate sections of your local newspaper. Drive around neighborhoods that interest you and write down addresses where there are "for sale" signs. Go to open houses. Try everything!

  • home shopping check list

Step 6. Home inspection.

When you make an offer on a home, it's a good idea to make your offer contingent on a home inspection, conducted by an independent authorized inspector. You will have to pay for this inspection yourself, but it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs, down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed. If you aren't,you may want to negotiate, asking the seller to pay for certain repairs or asking for a lower price.

  • home shopping check list

Step 7. Appraisals

Your lender will require you to get an appraisal of the house you want to buy, to make sure it's worth the money that you're borrowing. You may select your own appraiser, or you may ask your real estate broker to help you take care of that.

Step 8. Homeowner's Insurance

Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance, to protect both your interests and theirs. Like everything else, be sure to shop around for insurance that fits your needs.

Step 9. Settlement or Closing

Finally, you've gone through the whole process, and you're ready to go to "settlement" or "closing." We know you'll be excited, but be sure to read everything you sign! And before you go, read this important information about your rights.

Step 10. Moving

Looks like you're ready to move. There's a lot to consider as you plan your move. The good news is that there's lots of help. Check this out.

Let Evergreen help make your dream a reality.

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