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.

Click here to download this checklist

STEP 1

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?

STEP 2

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

STEP 3

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

STEP 4

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.

STEP 5

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.

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