Steps in the Home-Buying Process

When you’re young and carefree, living in an apartment has its advantages—less space to clean, free gym and pool, low rent—but there comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize it’s time to buy a house. If you are considering upgrading your crib and becoming a permanent North Dallas Corridor resident, then we have compiled an easy step-by-step guide just for you of general facts in the home-buying process. Follow this and you’ll be relaxing in your own home in no time!

Step One: Decide On A Price

Before you even start looking at houses on the market, you need to figure out what you can afford. Do this by determining your monthly household income and subtracting investments, insurance and other monthly debits. From there, you can see what’s leftover each month for a mortgage payment. Also, keep in mind that a good rule of thumb for home loans is to have 20 percent in savings set aside for a down payment.

Step Two: Get Pre-Qualified For a Loan

Talk to a professional at Guaranty Bank or your home bank to get pre-qualified for a house loan. They will look at your income, credit score and other factors and approve you for a certain amount of money. Then you can finally start looking for houses in your price range!

Step Three: Choose a Home

Meet with a real estate agent or look for houses that are for sale by owner. Come up with a list of priorities and start looking at houses! This is the fun part, where you can visit many different homes and figure out what works best for you and your family. When you have finally picked your dream house, make an offer (this should be done quickly because houses are sold fast in this market!) Also, it’s a good idea to have the home inspected so you can factor in any repair costs you will need to make. Check with your specific real estate agent to find out exactly what you need to do at this stage.

Step Four: Apply for a Mortgage

Once your offer is officially accepted, it’s time to apply for a mortgage! Go back to the same bank you were pre-qualified for, and bring the accepted offer with you. Different institutions require different documents at this stage, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank before going in. Also, make sure to factor in your budget the cost of homeowners insurance, homeowners association fees if applicable, tax payments and closing costs.

Step Five: Close on a House and Move In!

After the bank has approved and finalized your loan, it’s time to close on the house! Bring the closing check and all required documentation (find out in advance what you need to bring by talking to your real estate agent) and attend the closing. Now you will finally receive the keys and officially be a homeowner!

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