STEP 1: PREPARATION
Are you financially ready to buy a new home? How do you know when the timing is right? Worry not! Many people feel a little overwhelmed when they prepare to purchase a home. It's a large financial decision that requires the right preparation and team of professionals. That's where GEM Mortgage and our industry experts come in! With the right help, buying a home can be a relatively simple process. We don't expect you to have all the answers; that's why we've prepared this handy Home Buyer's Guide to get you started!
Before getting started, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is my income stable and reliable?
- Am I able to put a percentage of my income into my savings account every month?
- Is my monthly debt at a manageable level relative to my income?
- How is my credit score?
- Is my savings account already in place, and do I have enough set aside to make a small down payment, if necessary?
Did you answer ‘yes’ to most or all of these questions? If so, great job! You are likely ready to jump into the home buying process. While this process can be a little tricky, you’ve got a team of experienced lending professionals from GEM Mortgage ready to assist you. Guidance can make the difference from a seamless process to one that is complicated and stressful. We’re here to make mortgage lending simple!
STEP 2: UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS
Depending on your needs, you’ll want to select the loan program that has the perks you’re looking for, qualifying requirements that you can meet, and helps you stay on top of your home buying goals. While you may qualify for more than one program, it is important to do your research thoroughly and talk with your mortgage professional to select the loan that is right for you. The following loans are available to qualifying buyers through GEM Mortgage:
- Renovation and Construction
*GEM Mortgage is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the Veterans Administration (VA) or any government agency or government sponsored entity.
If you have any questions about one or more of the home loans listed above, contact a member of our team who will be happy to assist you. We know that understanding all of your options can feel overwhelming, so we’re here to assist you!
STEP 3: GETTING APPROVAL
Once you’ve decided which loan program will fit your needs, one of our loan officers will be in touch with you to get your application started and ensure that you have the proper qualifications in order. This step is one of the most important in the process. This step involves actually reviewing your financial documents to see if you qualify for your loan. We will need access to your household income, current assets, outstanding debt, and overall credit score. We’ll keep you informed throughout this process and let you know when it’s time to move on to the next step.
STEP 4: WORK WITH AN AGENT
Were you approved by your loan officer? Hurray! If you are approved, we will connect you with a recommend a real estate agent who can help you find your dream home. This is the fun part where you can actually find the home that is right for you or your investments. Keep in mind, before starting with the agent, have a relative budget, list of neighborhoods, and nearby amenities in mind that you would like to see from the home. This will help your agent narrow down your options and highlight properties that will interest you.
STEP 5: DISCOVER YOUR NEW HOME
Still wondering what makes a house feel like the perfect home for you? Again, remember there’s no need to be overwhelmed. Take a moment to consider what’s really important to you. Take a look at our list of aspects to keep in mind when starting your dream home search:
- What neighborhood is the home in?
- Are other homes in the area well kept?
- What local schools are nearby?
- How far is your potential commute?
- What nearby amenities are available?
- How much will the home cost?
- Will the number of rooms/bathrooms be sufficient?
Still having trouble deciding? Contact either your real estate agent or loan officer for more help!
STEP 6: MAKING THE OFFER
Have you found your dream home? It’s now time to make an initial offer on the property. Your agent will be able to help guide you through the tricky negotiating process. Remember not to get to attached to a property. Someone else may place a higher offer on the house that you are unable to compete with. If this happens, return to step 5 of the Home Buyer. There will likely be another property that meets your needs. Keeping an open mind and sticking to your budget is key here.
STEP 7: ALMOST TIME TO CLOSE
Hold on there friend! There are a few important things that need to happen before you can close on the home. Be prepared to:
- Get a home inspection
Find a trusted inspector to double check that the home is in good condition. This step is important, as you’ll need to determine the fitness of the property and if any costly repairs may be needed prior to moving in. The last thing you’ll want after all this research is unwanted and costly surprises.
- Get an appraisal
Once the home inspection has been completed, plan a property appraisal. This step is critical to make sure that you have an accurate and up to date evaluation of the market value of the property.
- Get an underwriting approval
During this time, our team will work on underwriting your loan and preparing your documents. This process includes verifying your financial status in order to give the loan its final approval. With this taken care of, you’ve officially secured the financing to purchase the home.
STEP 8: TIME TO CLOSE
Finally! The day has come and it’s time to celebrate! Assuming all the steps above have been completed, it’s time to close on your new home. After you perform one final walk through of the home to ensure that everything still looks to be in top shape, your loan officer will walk you through the Closing Disclosure document to ensure that all of the financial details are in order and looking good. You will be asked to provide:
- A government-issued ID or driver’s license
- Available funds in the form of a bank check or a wire that are sufficient to cover any down payment needed or unpaid closing costs
STEP 9: MANAGING YOUR LOAN
Once you’ve moved into your new home, it is up to you to maintain your monthly mortgage payments. You may have the potential to adjust your monthly payment plan in the future, if needed. If you ever find yourself having trouble making payments, please contact our team as soon as possible and we will be happy to assist you.
While the actual process of buying a home may not be as simple as our Home Buyer's Guide, your team of professionals here at GEM Mortgage is here to help you and walk you through some of the tougher spots. With a little confidence and the right preparation, owning a home is possible. Contact us today to learn more!