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First-Time Homebuyer’s Checklist

Updated: May 31, 2023

Make sure you’re (really) ready

-You have a stable job.

-You can see yourself living in the same town for the next 5-10 years.

-You’re prepared for the extra work that comes with homeownership.

Create your home wishlist

-Determine what’s most important to have right now - e.g., location, number of bedrooms, a yard.

-Check out the different neighborhoods, home styles and listings online to get a feel for what’s most important to you.

Figure out what you can afford

-Request your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Fix any errors right away.

-Determine a down payment amount (ideally 20% to avoid paying private mortgage insurance).

-Calculate how much you’ll need in an emergency fund for unexpected maintenance or repair costs.

Gather the necessary documents

-Collect proof of employment, including pay stubs and past tax returns.

-Print out bank and investment account statements from the past 90 days.

-Compile your previous addresses and current landlord’s contact information.

Research mortgages

-Request quotes from multiple lenders and comparison shop for loans.

-Get pre-qualified for a loan (many sellers won't even consider a bid unless you’re pre-qualified).

-Obtain a pre-approval letter (this requires a credit and background check, but it can make you a stronger candidate).

Assemble your team

-Find a real estate agent you trust and communicate well with

-Ask a friend or family member for second opinions as you go through the buying process

The final lesson: Don't go it alone! Get in touch with us to talk more about the process of buying a home, whether it's your first or your fifth! Email to chat!


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