The ongoing pandemic has dramatically changed how we conduct our lives. But thanks to modern-day technology and the adaptability of consumer-oriented businesses, even something as significant as a home purchase can be done entirely online.
While it may not be as tried-and-true as the traditional in-person home buying process, it’s easier and more reliable than ever to go through it entirely online. In order to help you navigate the virtual home buying process, we break it down step-by-step below.
10 Steps to Buying a Home Online
- Educate yourself. First things first, you’ll want to take an online homebuyer education course. This will guide you through the home buying process and help you avoid predatory lending.
- Get to know your finances. What’s your credit score? Do you know what your debt-to-income ratio is? How much can you budget for monthly housing costs? Financial education and credit counseling are great resources to help you answer these questions and get you on the path to achieving your financial goals. If you're interested in improving your financial security through financial education, the Texas Financial Toolbox site is a great place to start.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This establishes a relationship with a reputable mortgage lender and lets you know the amount of money you can afford to borrow. Gathering necessary documents ahead of time may help this process. Make sure to let your lender know that you want to work with them in a virtual capacity.
- Know what you want in a home. Making a list of the features you want in your new home can help you narrow your options.
- Contact a trusted REALTOR®. Ready to start house shopping? Find a REALTOR® that is responsive and has experience with showing and purchasing a home remotely. Don’t be afraid to ask them about the sizing of individual rooms or about any smells, sounds, or feelings around the property that you might not be able to perceive through video.
- Make an offer. Your REALTOR® will work with you to send an electronic offer to the seller. If the seller accepts your offer, you'll be able to electronically wire your earnest money to an escrow account for closing.
- Get a home inspection. This will alert you to any issues that may exist with the home. Depending on local ordinances, your REALTOR® may be able to accompany the home inspector during the inspection, acting as your eyes and ears. You may also be able to request that the inspector shoot a video for you.
- Apply for a mortgage online. Work with your lender to find a loan product that will work best for your situation and applying for your official mortgage loan.
- Get home insurance. Think of home insurance as a shield for one of the most major financial investments you’ll make in your lifetime. It protects you from home damage due to hazardous situations and oftentimes, you can purchase this entirely online or over the phone.
- Prepare for closing. Work with your real estate agent to complete closing documents online or as remotely as possible, and then enjoy your new home.
Learning More about Home Buying
TSAHC is dedicated to empowering Texans to achieve their dreams of homeownership. So much so that we created the On the House podcast, which digs deeper into the homeownership process, including an episode about applying for a mortgage online! To learn more about our home buyer podcast, click here.
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.