If you’re ready to become a homeowner, you may be wondering how to get started. Truth be told, the real estate process can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been through it before. With that in mind, here are three easy steps to help you get started on your homebuying journey. Read them over so that you can familiarize yourself with what you should do next.
Gather the right paperwork
The first step in buying a home is making sure that you have all your financial paperwork in order. Your lender will ask for these when you’re ready to get pre-approved for a loan, so you can save time by getting them ready in advance.
- W-2s: Lenders typically ask for two years of W2s (or tax returns, if you’re self-employed) in order to get a sense of your work history.
- Paystubs: They’ll also ask for a paystub with your year-to-date income listed.
- Asset statements: You’ll also need to provide around three months’ worth of asset statements for any bank accounts or investments.
- Credit report: While you won’t need to provide your lender with a copy of your credit report, you’ll likely need to consent to them running a credit check.
Shop around for a lender and get pre-approved for a loan
After your paperwork is ready, the next step is to talk to a lender. Now is the time when you can shop around for the best rate.
If you’re going to go this route, be sure to talk to each lender of your choice within the same two-week timeframe. This will ensure that all the credit inquiries will count as one on your credit report and will protect your score. Also, be sure to give each lender the same information so it’s easier to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
Once you’ve selected a lender, give them your paperwork and ask for a pre-approval letter. This letter will tell you how much the bank is willing to lend you. It will help you set a price range when shopping for a home.
Talk to a local real estate agent
Lastly, it’s important to get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help guide you through your home search. If you’re unsure who to pick, ask family or friends for recommendations or read reviews online. Make a short list of candidates and interview them until you’ve found someone who feels like the right fit,
After you agree to work with them, your agent will talk to you about your wants and needs in a home, your price range, your desired geographic area, and your timeframe for making a move. Then, they will get you set up on an MLS search that will show you available properties that meet your criteria. From there, you’re ready to start touring homes!
Ready to take the next step?
Buying a home is a big step, but we’ve got you covered. Reach out to Park Cities Mortgage today to get started.
Park Cities Mortgage is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 5950 Sherry Lane, Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75225 | NTFN NMLS 75333.