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First Steps to Buying a Home

First Steps to Buying a Home

Read time 6 minutes

Our loan officers have helped thousands of people buy their first home. We’ve even been to a fair share of housewarming parties, and are here to help you every step of the way.

1. Become familiar with the homebuying process

Register for a home buyer education class, where you can earn a home buyer education certificate that is required for many first–time home buyers and down payment assistance programs. These classes are often offered through your HomeStreet mortgage benefits Program.

2. Choose a lender and get pre–qualified

Make an appointment with your Affinity loan officer to assess your financial situation.

When you and your loan officer determine that you are ready to begin your search for a new home, obtain a pre-qualification letter from the loan officer that reflects your ability to qualify for a loan at the amount you wish to pay for a house.

3. Look for a home

It is recommended that first-time home buyers consider using a real estate professional. In addition to helping you search available listings and negotiate the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, an agent can also guide you through the rest of the home buying process and make sure that financing conditions are met in a timely manner. Interview potential agents to make sure you feel comfortable with their methods and that they are familiar with the areas that interest you. Real estate agents can be very helpful in negotiating purchase prices.

The pre–qualification letter can help strengthen your offer, so be prepared to give a copy to the real estate agent or seller when you make an offer.

Be aware of program guidelines before making an offer. It is good to inform your real estate agent about the loan program you were pre–qualified for so that they can make sure to include any restrictions in their property search.

After you make an offer and it is accepted, obtain a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement for your lender.

First Steps

4. The home inspection

An inspection by a professional home inspector can help turn up any major problems with the property that might be costly to repair. Home inspections are not generally required, but can be a good idea.

5. The appraisal

An appraisal is generally performed to protect the lending institution's investment in your home. This is required as a condition of your loan. The appraiser will review the condition and amenities of the home and find comparable homes in the neighborhood to estimate its value.

6. Closing

Once your loan terms and conditions have been met, the final documents are sent to the escrow office (or whoever is performing the closing of your loan) for the signing of your loan documents

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IMPORTANT: Hometown Program and Inside Edge mortgage benefits cannot be accessed from a HomeStreet branch or home loan center. These benefits can only be accessed through one of our specialized Affinity Loan Officers.

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