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Four Important Steps in the Homebuying Process

Four Important Steps in the Homebuying Process

Read time 4 minutes

Anyone who has been through the homebuying process knows that there's quite a lot involved. It isn’t always a seamless process, but we’ve seen many successful homebuyers get through it without a hitch, and we’ve noticed that there are some very important steps that they all seem to hit along the way. In order to give you a leg up on the process, we’ve put together a short list of what we feel are the steps in the home buying process that you don’t want to miss. Here’s to successful homebuying!

1. Get to know the homebuying process

It won’t do you any good going into the homebuying process uninformed. You might want to consider registering for a homebuyer education class. Homebuyer education certificates are required for many down payment assistance programs. These certificates are often offered through first-time homebuyer classes (such as ours). These classes are offered through HomeStreet Bank at no cost. You may also want to take time early on to research down payment assistance programs available in your city or state. Make sure that you read the restrictions and qualifications for each program. Your state housing finance agency website is a great place to start:

California Housing Finance Agency

Washington State Housing Finance Commission

Oregon Housing and Community Services

Hawaii HomeOwnership Center

2. Meet with a lender or non-profit housing counselor

Your second major step is to make an appointment with a loan officer or pre-purchase housing counselor to assess your financial situation. This is going to be a great time to get your questions answered about your specific circumstances. Here are a few things you will want to bring:

When the counselor or loan officer determines you are ready to begin your search for a new home, obtain a pre-qualification letter from your loan officer that reflects your ability to qualify for a loan at the amount you wish to pay for a house. With a pre-qualification in hand, the fun is just about to begin!

3. Take advantage of a good realtor

Even though you may be able to picture that dream home in your mind, you’ll need to find it before you can begin moving in. That’s where a realtor will come in handy. First, you’ll need to decide if you would like to work with a real estate professional and which realty group that would be. You’ll want to interview candidates in advance so that you’re sure you feel comfortable with their methods and that they are familiar with the areas you are interested in. Not only can real estate agents be very helpful in negotiating purchase prices, some real estate agents can offer significant discounts through HomeStreet’s benefits programs.

As you shop around for your dream home, already having applied and been conditionally approved will help here – it can give you an edge over other potential buyers.

It is also a good idea to inform your real estate agent about the loan program you were approved for so they can make sure to include any program-related restrictions in their property search.

4. Have a home inspection

You’ll want to know what you’re getting into. An inspection by a professional home inspector will help turn up any major problems with the property that might be costly to repair.

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