A house is more than four walls. It becomes a home full of memories and your most cherished belongings — your grandmother’s dining room table, your childhood collection of baseball cards, or the worn hardwood floor where your daughter took her first steps.
At Solarity, we understand how important this purchase is – and we will be there with you every step of the way.
First things first: Are you ready to buy?
Buying your first home is probably the most significant purchase in your life. There are great advantages to owning a home, but there are also a lot of responsibilities associated with ownership as well. Here are some questions for you to think about when considering if you are ready to purchase a home:
- Do you have a steady income?
- Do you plan to stay in your new home for at least a few years?
- Have you saved for the up-front costs of purchasing a home?
- In addition to your mortgage payment, have you planned for property taxes, home insurance premiums, and utilities?
- Will you have an emergency fund to take care of repairs?
- Are you prepared to keep up with maintenance, yard work, and other responsibilities of homeownership?
The home buying process
Step 1: Pre-qualification
Simply talk to one of our Mortgage Loan Officers or apply online to decide which loan is best for your needs. We’ll provide a range of options based on your income, how much you owe, and any goals you’d like to meet. You will walk out of the door with a pre-qualification for your loan. You can also pre-qualify yourself online. Just fill in the type of loan you want, the purchase price and down payment, your monthly income and debt, and the balance on all of your credit cards. You’ll see an estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and other details.*
*Legally subject to underwriting the home you are refinancing and verification of the information you’ve provided us on your application.
What to bring:
Here is the information you should bring to the appointment or have on hand when pre-qualifying online:
- Your current address and any other addresses for the past two years.
- Valid Driver’s license
- Two months of recent bank statements
- Social Security numbers for all borrowers.
- Your employment history for the past two years.
- Most recent 30 days of paystubs and last two years’ tax returns, both personal and business.
- Information about your current debts.
- A copy of your current mortgage statement if held by another lender.
Step 2: Making an offer
When you find a home that feels right, your agent will help you make an offer in writing and submit it to the sellers. You’ll include earnest money, a fixed amount that shows your offer was made “in earnest.” Earnest money is kept in escrow until closing and is usually counted as a credit toward your closing costs.
In most cases, the seller has 24 to 48 hours to consider your offer or propose a change with a counter offer. If you have an agent, he or she will negotiate the offer and create documents on your behalf.
If you’re selling at the same time, consider making your offer contingent on the sale of your current home. However, this might not work in a competitive market. Instead, you may be able to negotiate a rent-back, which allows you to rent your current home from the new owner for a period of time.
Step 3: Processing your loan
Once your offer has been accepted, we’ll request documentation to verify your assets and income. In addition, we’ll order an appraisal from a third party, request a title report, and collect a flood certification for your home. You will pay a processing deposit for these services, which will be applied toward your closing costs. We’ll also set up an escrow for the loan closing and send you disclosures to read.
Your agent will likely advise you to make your offer “contingent on inspection.” This means your offer isn’t valid until the home has been carefully examined by a qualified home inspector. Your inspector will check out the property from top to bottom, including its foundation, plumbing, electrical systems, and roof. If issues arise, your agent may negotiate for repairs, an adjustment in the sales price, or cash back at closing.
Step 4: Underwriting
We’ll prepare a closing disclosure which summarizes the final numbers for the agreement, as well as confirm your financial situation and property align with federal mortgage guidelines. Regulations that protect consumers require a three day wait before the documents can be signed to allow you time to consider and review the terms of your loan.
This was my first home buying experience, and everyone there was so great and helpful. Any question I had about the process was answered promptly and fully.”