Buying a home can be a tiring and complicated process. TSAHC has therefore created a checklist using NeighborWorks America’s curriculum so that whether the time to buy a home is now or in the future, you have the information to make the process a little easier.
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Get Educated. Take a Home Buyer Education class.
Your first step is to take a home buyer education course to make sure you are ready to buy a home. This course will provide you with information on topics like applying for a mortgage, down payment requirements, home inspections, closing, and post-purchase responsibilities. Visit the Texas Financial Toolbox to find a home buyer education course in your area.
See how Much you can Afford.
You will want to create a budget that includes a mortgage payment that is comfortable for you. Keep in mind the other costs that are associated with buying a home like down payment and closing costs, both of which can range from 2-7% of the purchase price. To see if you qualify for down payment or other assistance through TSAHC, take our Eligibility Quiz. More information on our programs is included in the steps below.
Contact a lender for a loan pre-approval before you start looking for a home so you know how much you can spend and demonstrate to the sellers that you are serious about buying a home. Be sure to shop around for a lender with rates and terms that work for you.
Know what Kind of Home you Want and Need.
You want to be prepared with what features you want and need in a home before shopping for one. Some factors to consider include: the size of your family, your lifestyle, schools and childcare, accessibility, work commute, grocery stores, and entertainment.
Shop for a home.
House hunting can be fun. Make sure to take your time shopping for a home. Look at several homes, take notes and ask questions. Remember that there are many professionals available to help you find a home and ensure that your home buying process is successful. Some of these professionals include homeownership counselors, Texas REALTORS®, lenders, and appraisers.
Make an offer.
Working with your REALTOR®, submit a signed proposal specifying the purchase price, terms, and conditions to the seller. Some things to include in the offer are the closing date, how you intend to pay for the property, and a breakdown of who pays the closing, title, loan, escrow expenses, and inspections.
Get a Home Inspection.
After the offer has been accepted, you should find a professional home inspector to look for issues or problems such as the overall conditon of the house, pests, and issues with the water quality. The inspector will send you the written report and the lender might want a copy before moving forward.
Apply for the Official Mortgage Loan.
Next, you will want to apply for the mortgage loan by completing a standard mortgage loan application. The lender is required to provide you with a loan estimate within three days of the application. Some things to look at in the estimate are the interest rate, monthly payment, total closing costs, and if the interest rate may change in the future. Make sure to shop around for a lender, and compare loans that work for you, even if a lender already provided you with an estimate or the pre-approval letter. If you are interested in our down payment assistance programs, work with a TSAHC approved lender.
Get Homeowners Insurance.
Homeowners insurance is required by the lender to protect you and the lender against hazards like fire or storms. Keep in mind that you can opt for a more comprehensive policy that may include things like liability protection or flood insurance. There are many factors that may influence the cost of your plan like type of construction, house size, and the company you choose. Just like with the loan, make sure to shop around for insurance that works for you.
Close on your Home.
Closing is the day when the seller receives the check, and the buyer receives the deed to the property as well as the keys to their new home. Before the closing, make sure you have received the Closing Disclosure, which states the final terms of the loan. You will also want to make sure to do a final walkthrough of the home, have the down payment and closing costs ready, meet with your lender, and be prepared to sign the different closing documents.
Click here to read about each of these steps in detail. Click here to view the webinar further detailing these steps.
TSAHC’s Programs for Homeowners
TSAHC has homeownership programs that serve both first-time and repeat home buyers. The Homes for Texas Heroes and Home Sweet Texas Loan Programs provide down payment assistance of up to 5% to low- and moderate-income home buyers. TSAHC also offers a Mortgage Credit Certificate Program for first time home buyers that provides you with a tax credit that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.
Take our Eligibility Quiz to see if you qualify for one or both assistance options. You can also compare assistance options by using our Program Comparison Calculator.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.