Home Purchasing Process Guide
Shopping online for a house is likely not the best place to start the process of purchasing a home. Here are some suggested steps to help you get the ball rolling:
- Check your credit report and scores
- Get pre-qualified by Red Oak Mortgage
- Find a real estate agent
- Shop for a home
- Make an offer
- Apply for a mortgage
- Get an appraisal and a home inspection
- Prepare for closing and moving
- Attend closing
- Move in
1. Check Your CreditYour credit score is based on several factors, including how much debt you have, your credit history and whether or not you pay your bills on time. Your credit score can affect whether or not you’ll meet the requirements for a mortgage loan and, if so, what types of loan programs you will qualify for.
You can find out about your credit score by obtaining your credit report:
- You can get one free credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com; read through it carefully and make sure there are no mistakes, as that could affect your score.
- If you have already obtained a free credit report within the last 12 months, you may have to pay a fee to obtain your credit score
2. Get Pre-QualifiedRed Oak Mortgage’s pre-qualification program offers you the ability to know what you can qualify for. More details on the pre-qualification process can be found on our Resources page. During this time, we’ll help you find the right loan program and explore the opportunities that are available.
3, 4, 5. Find a Real Estate Agent, Shop for a Home, Make an Offer
Once you are pre-qualified for a mortgage and are in a stronger position to shop for a home, connect with a real estate agent who knows your market.
Using online resources, shopping for a home has never been easier. When you are shopping for a home, you may want to consider not only the price and location but also the school systems, safety of the neighborhood, and access to services such as medical care.
Once you select a property, you will make an offer and negotiate with the seller on a final sales price. It’s likely the seller will take your offer more seriously because you’ll have a pre-qualification from Red Oak Mortgage.
6. Apply for a Mortgage
You can apply for a mortgage once you have selected a property. The actual process of applying for a mortgage requires reading, signing and supplying a number of documents. Red Oak Mortgage wants to make the mortgage process as easy as possible. We recommend that you review our Documentation Checklist to start gathering the documents you need as early as possible.
7. Get an Appraisal and a Home Inspection
Your lender will obtain an appraisal of the property once your loan is approved. If you are working with a real estate agent, they may recommend service providers for a home inspection..
8. Prepare for Closing and Moving
Once your loan is approved and your appraisal and inspection are satisfactory, it’s time to prepare for closing. Your Mortgage Consultant will guide you through this exciting time. One of the biggest risks to closing on time is a change in your finances. Avoid opening a new credit card account, buying a car or making any other large purchase without speaking to your mortgage consultant first. Moving isn’t fun, but your real estate agent and mortgage consultant will guide you the entire way, helping you with new utility providers, references for qualified movers, and any other services you may need.
9. Attend Closing
Although takes about an hour, we suggest you set aside a bit more time to be sure you clearly understand what you are signing. Generally, it’s required that you attend the closing in person and bring a government-issued photo ID and the funds to close (generally in cashier’s check). You won’t be alone! All closings are handled by a licensed settlement agent, and in many cases your attorney will be present at your purchase as well. Also, the seller and real estate agents are likely to join you.
10. Move In
You’ll feel great when you get your keys and unlock the door to your new home!