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5 Basic Steps to Make a House Your Home

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Are you looking to buy your home for the first time? Congratulations! While this is an exciting time, knowing what you are in for can ease the process exponentially. Below are a few steps you can take to find your dream house, and make it into your new home.

Learn About Homeownership
Owning a home requires a large investment of time, money and energy, so make sure you are careful when making your decision to buy. To answer all of the questions you may have, participate in a first-time homebuyer class at a local non-profit agency in your community. Being well-informed will make you feel confident and in control before making any major financial decisions. Look for a first-time homebuyer class offered by a local non-profit agency in your community.

Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
One of the most important steps for every homebuyer is to determine exactly how much home you can afford. By looking at your income and current monthly debts, you can determine your ideal monthly payment. From there, you’ll be able to narrow the focus of your house search to homes in your price range. Be sure to include down payments and other upfront costs in your calculations.

Shop for a Home
Condo? Single-family home? A fixer-upper or new construction? Knowing your housing needs — and selecting a real estate professional — before you start looking will help focus your time and energy. Plus, they will work on your behalf to pre-screen houses and guide you through negotiations. Working with a real estate professional can be useful when making an offer on a house—they will be available to answer your questions.

Find the Right Mortgage
Finding the right mortgage is about more than a rate and terms—it’s about finding the right financial partner. Look for a financial partner who will help to empower you to make informed decisions with confidence.

Close the Loan and Move In
Once your home has been inspected, your contingencies have been met and your mortgage has been approved, it’s time to close the deal! In most cases, a closing officer and your attorney will be present during closing. As the buyer, you should make sure to bring a binder for homeowners insurance (document proving you have adequate homeowners insurance), a paid receipt for the first year’s premium and a certified or cashier’s check for your down payment and closing costs. Before the closing begins, review your mortgage, mortgage note and settlement statement documents to ensure there are no errors or red flags. Remember to ask questions during the closing, as the closing officer is there to help.

After you’ve signed all documents and paid your closing costs and down payment, the closing is finished! You’re free to move in once you reach the possession date stated on the purchase agreement. Congratulations!

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