First-Time Buyers

July 30, 2015

What You Should Know When Buying Your First Home

Becoming a homeowner is a huge accomplishment, and one that can help your personal finances for years to come. Rather than having money disappear each month to pay rent, you get to make mortgage payments to build wealth in the form of a home. Plus, you get the satisfaction of settling into a home that is truly yours. The process of buying your first home can feel daunting, though, which is why we are here to help. United Home Loans has walked thousands of people through the process of getting their first mortgage in Chicago, and we can explain all the details and provide helpful tips for a smooth home purchase.

Get Pre-Approved Before Looking for a Home

Before you even begin to look at homes, take a few minutes to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Especially as a first home buyer, you may not have a strong sense of how much you can afford to borrow, and pre-approval can help. We will take a look at your income, debt, financial history and liquid assets to determine the maximum amount for your first mortgage in Chicago, and we issue a certificate of pre-approval listing that amount.
Pre-approval saves time in your home search because you can narrow down available homes to the ones in your budget. You may be surprised to learn that you can afford a more expensive home, which can give you options in neighborhoods you thought you couldn’t afford. Pre-approval is also an important element of making a strong offer on a home. Sellers like to see that you have been pre-approved for a mortgage and are likely to be able to follow through with obtaining that mortgage.

Understand the Steps Involved in Buying Your First Home

Buying a home isn’t quite as simple as signing on a line and getting your keys. In fact, you’ll be signing your name dozens of times at closing, which usually occurs a month or two of getting all the paperwork and details in order. Here are some of the steps you can expect to go through when buying a home:

  • Get a full detailed pre-approval where the lender has reviewed your credit report, income and asset documentation; any other limited pre-approval simply does not cut it
  • Choose a real estate agent to show you homes, help you write an offer, submit the offer to the sellers’ agents on your behalf, and help you with the details of completing your home purchase.
  • Peruse listings and tour homes for sale until you find one that suits you and your budget.
  • Work with your real estate agent to submit an offer and counteroffers until you and the sellers have signed the purchase agreement.
  • Complete a home inspection and, if necessary, submit a request for repairs to the seller.
  • Choose a home loan, apply for that loan, and work with your loan processor to submit documentation needed to finalize the mortgage.
  • Set up a homeowner’s insurance policy on your new home with the insurance company of your choice.
  • Complete the final walk-through to ensure the home is in the expected condition.
  • Pay your out-of-pocket costs for the down payment and closing costs, and sign all of the closing paperwork to complete the purchase of your home.

Get the Home Loan That is Right for You

Dozens of types of home loans are available — including fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, 15-year mortgages, 30-year mortgages and government-insured mortgages. Plus, you might have to decide whether or not to pay points on a mortgage in order to buy down the interest rate. As a family-owned firm, United Home Loans has mortgage bankers who will devote their time to understanding your needs and helping you choose the right mortgage. We take pride in providing top-notch service and walking you through each step of the process so your loan closes smoothly. Contact us below for more information.

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