First Time Home Buyer's Checklist
In a competitive market where homes can fly off the market in a week or less, it’s essential that buyers come to the table prepared. Here’s a list of steps every first-time homeowner should consider in their search.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE READY TO MAKE THE MOVE
- Do you have a stable job?
- Do you plan to live in the same location for at least the next 5-10 years?
- Are you prepared to accept the responsibilities of homeownership?
CREATE A WISH LIST
Rank what’s most important to you:
Location: Suburbs, city or country?
Size: How many bedrooms/bathrooms? A yard?
- School district
- Public transportation
- Commute distance/time
- Rental income opportunity
DETERMINE YOUR FINANCIAL STATUS
- Request your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Correct any credit errors ASAP.
- Estimate your down payment. A 20% down payment is ideal to avoid paying private mortgage insurance.
- Calculate approximately 3-6 months worth of emergency funds for unexpected maintenance
COLLECT YOUR NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
- Gather proof of employment, including pay stubs and tax returns from past two years.
- Print bank and investment account statements from past 90 days.
- List your previous addresses of residence and current landlord’s contact information.
RESEARCH LENDERS AND MORTGAGE OPTIONS
- Gather quotes from lenders, comparing rates, fees and terms.
- Get pre-qualified for a loan to show sellers you’re serious.
- Obtain a pre-approval letter.
NOTE: This requires a credit and background check, but it can strengthen your buying position.