Know when you're ready

Step 1

A home is likely the largest purchase you'll ever make, so you must be well prepared. Decide whether to rent or buy. Start by determining if either buying or renting makes the most sense for you right now. There are costs and benefits associated with each, so make sure you have all the facts before deciding.

Save for homeownership

Step 2

Saving is essential to pay for required homebuying costs. In addition to a down payment, there are closing costs, other fees, and unexpected expenses to keep in mind. Prepare for upfront and ongoing costs. It’s important to be aware of the costs associated with buying — and owning — a home. From your down payment and mortgage loan closing costs to homeowners’ insurance and ongoing maintenance, don’t let these expenses catch you off guard. Understand your DTI. Lenders consider your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio when determining what mortgage loans are available to you. If the amount you owe in debt is high compared to your overall income, you may not qualify for the most preferable loan terms.

Work with a mortgage lender

Step 3

There are many different mortgage lenders. When you find the right one for you, they’ll evaluate your finances and explain your mortgage options. Choose a lender. Different lenders may offer different mortgage products, require different fees, and use different processes. Use our checklist to help select a lender that meets your specific needs. Understand loan basics. Get an overview of mortgage loan definitions and processes. Find out how mortgages work and what factors may impact your loan terms. Types of mortgage loans. Mortgage loans aren’t one-size-fits-all. Before deciding which one works for you, get to know the different kinds available. Discover affordable mortgage options. Depending on the home and your circumstances, special loans or programs may be available to make your mortgage more affordable.

Shop with a real estate agent

Step 4

Working with a trusted real estate agent can make your home search more enjoyable. They’ll show you suitable homes and help you close the sale on a home you’ll love. Find the right agent. A real estate agent can help you find and view homes that match your budget and priorities. Then they’ll work with you to close the sale on a home. As with lenders, you can consider multiple agents before choosing one. Ask friends for recommendations, read online reviews, and meet with the agents directly. Our checklist can help you know what to ask when you’re searching for an agent to work with.

Make an offer on a home

Step 5

We know selling a home can be more emotional than buying one, and we’ll leverage our experience and market know-how to ease you through the process. But first we’ll uncover your motivations for selling, establish a timeline and a marketing plan, and see how your home compares with others on the market. We have a track record of proven success, and you can rely on us to be your champion and best source for solutions.

Get ready to close your loan

Step 6

We know selling a home can be more emotional than buying one, and we’ll leverage our experience and market know-how to ease you through the process. But first we’ll uncover your motivations for selling, establish a timeline and a marketing plan, and see how your home compares with others on the market. We have a track record of proven success, and you can rely on us to be your champion and best source for solutions.

Welcome to homeownership

Step 7

We know selling a home can be more emotional than buying one, and we’ll leverage our experience and market know-how to ease you through the process. But first we’ll uncover your motivations for selling, establish a timeline and a marketing plan, and see how your home compares with others on the market. We have a track record of proven success, and you can rely on us to be your champion and best source for solutions.

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