First-Time Homebuyer’s Checklist



Make sure you’re (really) ready


-You have a stable job.


-You can see yourself living in the same town for the next 5-10 years.


-You’re prepared for the extra work that comes with homeownership.



Create your home wishlist


-Determine what’s most important to have right now - e.g., location, number of bedrooms, a yard.


-Check out the different neighborhoods, home styles and listings online to get a feel for what’s most important to you.



Figure out what you can afford


-Request your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Fix any errors right away.


-Determine a down payment amount (ideally 20% to avoid paying private mortgage insurance).


-Calculate how much you’ll need in an emergency fund for unexpected maintenance or repair costs.



Gather the necessary documents


-Collect proof of employment, including pay stubs and past tax returns.


-Print out bank and investment account statements from the past 90 days.


-Compile your previous addresses and current landlord’s contact information.



Research mortgages


-Request quotes from multiple lenders and comparison shop for loans.


-Get pre-qualified for a loan (many sellers won't even consider a bid unless you’re pre-qualified).


-Obtain a pre-approval letter (this requires a credit and background check, but it can make you a stronger candidate).



Assemble your team


-Find a real estate agent you trust and communicate well with


-Ask a friend or family member for second opinions as you go through the buying process



The final lesson: Don't go it alone! Get in touch with us to talk more about the process of buying a home, whether it's your first or your fifth! Email stacy@stacywardrealtor.com to chat!