If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might be completely lost by the process of purchasing a house. You aren’t to blame and you definitely aren’t alone! Words, terms and what steps to take can bring on feelings of confusion. If you’re looking for some guidance, our checklist should be able to point you in the right direction.

Determine Your Budget

How much home can you afford? Think about all the requirements and costs of owning and maintaining a home, as well as the fees (insurance, remodeling, closing costs…) that come with the home buying process. Is buying a home wise?

Check Your Credit Score

The quality of the mortgage you’ll qualify for is determined by a number of factors, one of which being your credit score. You can check your score online through various resources, which can give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Find a Mortgage Lender and Get Pre-Approved

Now you’ll need to find a mortgage lender to help you pay for your house. On Q Financial has several options for first-time homebuyers and will help guide you through the process from start to finish.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

The pre-approval process helps both you and your lender get a clearer picture of how big a loan you qualify for. Background information on you, like your credit score, will be pulled to figure this out.

Get a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents can be your guiding light in the dark during home buying, able to provide you information about houses and neighborhoods you wouldn’t know otherwise.

Make a List of Wants and Needs

The ideal home should have a mix of your wants and needs. Make a list of things you absolutely need (number of bedrooms, amount of space, distance to schools and work…) and things you want (a pool, a large backyard, an upstairs laundry room…) before you start hunting.

Find a House

Now comes the most important part: actually finding a house! Use your list of wants and needs to determine the home that’s the right fit for you.

Put in an Offer

Once you’ve set your eyes on a house, it’s time to put in an offer. Work with your agent on this step. After you and the seller agree on a price, your future home will enter escrow.

Get a Home Inspection

You’ll want to know if there are any outstanding issues with your new home that need to be addressed. During the home inspection process, qualified individuals will enter your house to find any problems. Afterward, you and the seller will be given a report, which will give you the opportunity to request any fixes or back out of the deal entirely.

Get Home Insurance

Home insurance will, more than likely, be required of you by your lender. Standard coverage will shield your house against costs associated with fire and weather damage, as well as theft and frozen household systems.

Determine the Mortgage You’ll Need

Different mortgages exist for different needs. Your lender will have a variety of loan options to suit these needs. With help from your lender, figure out the type of mortgage that’s appropriate for your situation.

Sign the Papers

That’s it: you’re done! Now is time to sign the final paperwork and move in to your new home! Congratulations: you made it!