First-Time Homebuyer

Posted: July 1, 2022

A young couple are unboxing and writing down any missing items for their first time home.

Ready to buy your first home? It’s an exciting time but can also feel a bit daunting! We’re here to help with a checklist of everything you need to begin your home buying journey.

Build your credit

Establishing your credit history with a mix of accounts such as a credit card and auto loan, making on-time payments and keeping your credit utilization under 30% of your total available limit will help you build your credit. (Not sure what your credit score is? Check it with Credit Hub.)

Know your budget

As a rule of thumb, you can take your gross monthly income and multiply it by 28% to give you an idea what your maximum monthly mortgage payment should be. Use our Mortgage Qualifier Calculator to help determine your overall price range for homes.

Choose your home criteria

Assess what aspects of a home are must-haves as well as features that would be nice but aren’t deal breakers. You might want a certain size house, a minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms, central air conditioning, a garage or a large yard, for example. You should also think through what factors are important to you when choosing a location such as your commute, school districts and proximity to family and friends.

Grow your savings

You’ll need to save up for at least a down payment, money for closing costs, an emergency fund to cover any maintenance repairs or replacements in your new home and moving costs such as a rental truck or storage.

Get pre-approved

Start working with a Mortgage Loan Officer to get pre-approved for a home loan. They will review your credit, income and funds to help find the right loan for you. By getting pre-approved by a lender, sellers will know you're a serious buyer.

Find a real estate agent

A real estate agent can help you find available homes that meet your budget and needs, negotiate on your behalf and handle the paperwork of the home purchase. Realtors have greater access to listings than you might not find on public websites. Plus, a Realtor’s commission is typically paid by the seller.

Ready to kickstart your home buying process? Apply for a mortgage loan online today!