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First Time Home Buyer Checklist

If reading through pages of advice doesn’t sound very appealing, then here is  a first time home buyers checklist to help you through the process. Print it out and check each item off through out the process.

1. Locate a reputable real estate agent.

2. Run your credit report

  • If credit score is low, fix any errors.
  • Pay down any credit cards that are maxed-out.
  • Be sure to improve your credit history by staying current on all bills for at least 12-18 months prior to applying for a loan.

3. Evaluate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

  • If DTI is too high, consider paying off some debts or adding another income to the mix (perhaps a spouse’s income).
  • Figure out how much you can spend on a home and what your approximate mortgage payment may be.

4. Evaluate your down payment possibilities with this first time home buyer checklist

  • Do I have at least 3% saved in some sort of savings account?
  • I have investigated down payment assistance.
  • I have explored the grant possibilities.
  • Evaluate possible loan programs.
  • Conventional loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans (if I’m a veteran)

5. Start the application process (the above things on the list can be done through the application process).

  • Provide last two pay stubs
  • Provide last two months of bank statements
  • Provide last year’s W-2s
  • Obtain pre-approval from a lender.

6. Locate the home I’m interested in purchasing.

  • Put in a purchase agreement and have it accepted.
  • Lender ordered an appraisal.
  • Lender ordered a home inspection.

7. Loan approval finalized

  • Provide last two current pay stubs.
  • Provide current last two bank statements.
  • Provide another year’s W-2 if your application finalization is in another year.
  • Another credit report may be pulled (this is where, if you ran out and bought furniture before the house closed, your loan approval may be affected).

8. Do a walk through on the house before the closing (things could have changed on the house from the time the purchase agreement was placed and the closing, so do a final walk through).

9. Close on your home!!!

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