Thursday, August 16, 2012

12 Step Guide to Purchasing a Home

Ask for Help: If you want help with the home buying process, it might be worth finding a housing counselor. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has a list of free or low cost housing counselor's available on their website at www.hud.gov. Counselors can also advise you on home buyer assistance programs in your area.

Budget: Look at your monthly income and monthly expenses and determine how a house might fit in. How much can you really afford? Don’t forget to include taxes and insurance in your projected costs!

Check your Credit. The condition of your credit may influence the financing available to you for purchasing a home, so it’s important to understand your creditworthiness early in the process. Get your free annual credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and check for errors or unresolved issues. Make sure to correct any mistakes with the credit bureaus.

Find an Agent. Finding the right real estate agent can make a big difference in the success of your home buying experience. Ask friends, neighbors and coworkers for agent referrals – or go to Internet sites such as www.realtor.com and www.nareb.com to find agents in your area – and we recommend that you be sure to interview at least three to find a good fit.

Collect your Documents. Gather pay stubs, bank account statements, W-2s, tax returns for the last two years, statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years – lenders are going to want to see these when you’re working on financing.

Find lenders and get pre-qualified or pre-approved. Start with your local bank or credit union, or if you are interested in a HomePath loan, find a HomePath lender for pre-approval at www.homepath.com. Your real estate agent may also have lender suggestions.

Start your Search. Your agent should help you find neighborhoods and homes that fit your needs and your budget. Compare houses, prices, features, neighborhoods, and Demographics. Be sure to check out www.homepath.com for affordable Fannie Mae-owned properties in your area.

Make the Offer. You’ve found the perfect home and now it’s time to work with your agent to submit an offer! Your submission will include the terms of the offer and a good faith deposit. Keep in mind that Fannie Mae looks for the best offer, not just the highest price.

Do an Inspection. You should always be aware of both the good and the bad before you buy a house, so it’s critical that you have a professional inspection done. Fannie Mae has a 10-day inspection period after an offer has been accepted.

Confirm Financing. Now that you know the house price and terms of the sale, go back to your lender to get your financing approved. If you have purchased a Fannie Mae-owned home that is eligible for HomePath® financing, check with a HomePath lender to see if that financing might be a good option for you.

Prepare to Close. In preparation for closing, your lender may ask you for more information on your finances and the property you’ll also need to organize your down payment, prepare to pay for any closing costs, get a property insurance policy, title insurance, and a host of other things. Ask lots of questions and be sure you understand. Everything you sign or agree to.

Schedule The Closing. Your lender or agent will work with you to schedule a convenient closing date, time, and location. At the closing, you’ll sign deed and mortgage documents, among other things, and at the end you’ll be handed the key to your new home!

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