Buying your first home is an exciting milestone. You might be wondering what initial steps you need to take before beginning your search. Who do you need to meet with and what kind of information will they be looking for? Taking these first steps to buying a home will help get your search off to a good start.
Meet with a Local Mortgage Specialist
A mortgage specialist can offer you more than just sage advice – they can bring you peace of mind. Buying your first home is likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Working with a mortgage specialist who can answer your questions, guide you through the application process and help you understand your options can be very reassuring when taking your first steps to buying a home.
Prepare the Documents You Will Need for the Mortgage Pre-Qualification
In order to determine how much you qualify for your potential purchase, you will need to gather certain financial information. Depending on your income structure – whether you are self-employed, commissioned and/or receive a bonus – these documents can differ. Be prepared to share your most recent W2s, pay stubs and in some cases, the full federal 1040 tax return.
You should also be prepared to share assets (source of down payment) and in some cases, reserves after closing.
Once you have collected these documents, reach out to one of our mortgage specialists to determine a loan program that best suits your needs.
Set a Budget That Works Long-Term
There are many factors that determine the cost of a home. Location, size, style, amenities and neighborhood all play a part. Once you have decided roughly where you want to live and the must-haves for your first home, you and a mortgage specialist can use your pre-qualification to set a realistic budget. Keep in mind the costs associated with purchasing a home. There is the home inspection, closing costs, attorney and moving fees, property taxes and more, as well as any immediate improvements you plan to make.
Looking for homes that fit comfortably within your budget can also offer some flexibility should you need to increase your offer over another bid. Using free online budgeting tools like the FutureTrack budgeting calculator can help you get a clearer picture of what you can afford while still maintaining the lifestyle you enjoy.
Time to Start Looking
Once you know how much house you can afford and where you want to live, it’s time to start looking for your first home. Finding a house that is just right for you can take some time, but working with a mortgage specialist and preparing everything you’ll need ahead of time can help set you on the right path. At Union Savings Bank, our mortgage team can work with you to find your perfect home, wherever you are in your life journey. Contact us today to begin taking the first steps to buying a home you’ll love.