Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

12 Months Out:

  • Check your Credit Score: The 3 credit bureaus are each required to give you a free credit report once a year.
  • Determine How Much You Can Afford: Talk to a Lender. Lenders will need to know your debt-to-income-ratio.
  • Make a Down Payment Plan: Narrow down how much money you want to put down and what type of financing options you have (conventional loan, FHA, etc.)

9 Months Out:

  • Prioritize What you Want Most in your Home: What’s most important in your new home? A Big Backyard? Proximity to Work? Amenities? An Open Floor Plan?
  • Research Neighborhoods and Start Visiting Open Houses: Start getting an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighborhoods appeal the most. This is where the fun begins!

6 Months Out:

  • Collect Your Loan Paperwork:
    • W-2 Forms
    • Personal Tax Returns for the past 2-3 Years
    • Recent Pay Stubs
    • Credit Card and all Loan Statements
    • Bank Statements
    • Previous Addresses
    • Retirement Account Statements, such as 401k

3 Months Out:

  • Get Pre-Approved For Your Loan: Start working with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  • Start Shopping for Your New Home: Now that you are pre-approved, start targeting homes that meet your priorities and price range. 

2 Months Out:

  • Make an Offer on a Home: If you are purchasing a pre-existing home, it usually takes   approximately 60 days to close. If you are purchasing a new construction home that needs to be built, it usually takes approximately 6-10 months.

The Final Month:

  • Triple-Check that all of your Financial Documents are in Order and Review all Lending Documents Before Closing: You’re in the Home Stretch!
  • Get Insurance for your New Home: You’ll need to bring proof of insurance to closing.
  • Final Walk-Through
  • Get A Cashiers Check or Bank Wire for Cash Needed at Closing: Make sure you get an exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll get that number a few days before closing so you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired. Regular checks aren’t accepted.

Last Step- Enjoy Your New Home! Congratulations 🙂