Your 10 Steps to Buying a Home

January 22, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: First Time Buyer, Home Buyer Education, Homeownership

If your New Year’s resolution is to buy a home,®’s #1 recommendation is to start the process early in the year.

Their reasoning is this: after comparing the number of listings to the number of home buyers, they found that buyers who start their search in January or February face less competition with nearly the same number of homes.

Buying a home can be a very complicated process, so TSAHC has created a checklist to help you determine if you are ready to buy a home. By following this checklist, you can be prepared to act when the perfect home comes along.

Below is an outline of each of the steps:

  • Step 1: Get Educated. Take a home buyer education course to make sure you are ready to buy a home. Visit the Texas Financial Toolbox to find a quality home buyer education course in your area.
  • Step 2: How Much Can You Afford? Create a budget with a mortgage payment that is comfortable for you.  To see if you qualify for a down payment grant or other assistance through TSAHC, take our Eligibility Quiz.
  • Step 3: Get Pre-Approved. Contact a lender for a loan pre-approval to confirm how much you can afford.
  • Step 4: What Kind of Home to Buy? Make a list of features you need and want in a home.
  • Step 5: Shop for a Home. Take your time, look at many homes, take notes and ask questions.
  • Step 6: Make an Offer. Work with your REALTOR® to submit a signed proposal specifying the purchase price, terms and conditions to the seller.
  • Step 7: Get a Home Inspection. A home inspector will examine the home’s condition and alert you to any issues that may be present.
  • Step 8: Apply for a Mortgage Loan. Shop around for a reputable lender and a loan product that works for you.
  • Step 9: Get Homeowners Insurance. Homeowners insurance is required by your lender to protect your home from hazards like fire, storms and floods.
  • Step 10: Close on Your Home. Closing day is when the seller receives the funds and you receive the deed and keys to your new home!

Click here to read about each of these steps in detail. 

Are you ready to purchase a home?

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.


Henry Killingsworth

It was interesting to me when you mentioned that it could be a good idea to take an education course before purchasing a home. I would imagine that it would be important to make sure that you always find a real estate agent to work with when trying to purchase a home. I would think that a real estate agent would make sure that you find exactly what you are looking for.

Eve Mitchell

Thanks for the idea about making a list of features that you need in a home. My son and his wife are hoping to sell their townhome and move into a home. It’ll be good for them to make a list of priorities that they need.

Ava M

I found it helpful when you suggested creating a budget with a mortgage payment that you could pay off comfortably. My husband and I are interested in buying a luxury home since it has been our dream since we got married last 2001. We will be sure to do your tips so we can save time on looking at houses that we can afford.

Shammy P

It caught my attention when you said that you must create a budget with a mortgage payment that would be comfortable for you. My husband and I are planning to buy a bigger house because our family keeps growing rapidly. We don’t want to end up breaking our bank, so we will be sure to do your tips before hiring a real estate agent for some help.

Charlotte Fleet

Thank you for your provided steps on buying a house. My brother and his wife are hoping to purchase a new house. I think it would be smart for them to find a reliable realty service to help them.

Lauren Smith

Buying a home is the big decision we make in our life, It should be done under the proper guidance of a professional agent.  They are experienced and know the value of the houses and have negotiation skills that can be very helpful for you while buying.

Michaela Hemsley

Thanks for the tip to make a list of features you want in a home before you start looking for one. I am thinking about buying a townhouse soon because I think it would be nice to have my own home and my own space. I will have to think about what’s important to me and what I am willing to compromise on so that when I hire a realtor they can know what to look for and help the process go a little faster.

Taylor Hansen

My wife and I are wanting to buy a new home at the end of the year but we don’t know how the market is. I like how you mentioned getting a pre-approved for a loan beforehand. Personally, I want to find a good real estate agent that has a finger on the pulse of the market right now.

Denver investment property mortgage

Access to affordable and quality housing is central to community wellbeing. Apart from meeting the basic need for shelter, it provides a foundation for family and social stability, and contributes to improved health and educational outcomes and a productive workforce.

Thomas Clarence

My brother is tired of living out in the country by himself, so he is thinking of buying a luxury townhome in the city. You made an interesting point when you explained that it is a good idea to list the features you want in a property. My brother wants a garage to store things in, so it would probably be a good idea for him to find a townhome that has a garage.


I love the tip that you gave to choose a mortgage budget that we could be comfortable with before we look to buy a home. My wife and I are on the search for our own home that we could move to this summer, and it will be important for us to not overspend. To be sure that they will be a good option, I will consider making a mortgage budget to help us decide on an affordable home.

Lloyd Bronson

It was helpful that you brought to light how it is important to take an educational course on buying a home in order to ensure that you are prepared for the high costs. My wife and I want to jump from being apartment renters to full-blown homeowners. We’ll be sure to get into contact with a professional strata report company to ensure that the home we are interested in will be of high quality.

Johnny McCarron

So, I’m thinking of talking to a real estate agent. My wife and I are thinking we’d like to buy a home next year. I’ll be sure to follow your advice and try to get pre-approved.

Dennis Sanchez

I thought it was interesting when you explained that one of the important steps of purchasing a home is to have it inspected. My wife and I have never owned a home before. When we start looking for houses to buy, it would probably be a good idea for us to work with a real estate agent.

drake welsh

I love that you mentioned that you should create a budget with a mortgage before you buy a home, so you will know what you could afford. We have been wanting to buy a new home, and it would be important for us to not overspend. I will be sure to make a budget for our home before we buy one, so we could avoid overspending.

Jane Burt

Thank you for explaining that when you are looking to buy a home, you should make sure to create a budget so you can be able to know your price range for a new home. My fiance and I are looking to buy a home that we can move into after we get married and we don’t know our price range yet. We will make sure to figure that out before we start looking for a new home.

Jocelyn McDonald

My husband and I want to move our of our apartment and into our first home together, but we’ve never bought a house before and could use some advice. Your article had some great tips for people like us, and I liked how you said to make sure we get an inspection on a potential home so we can learn about the house’s condition and any issues that may be present. Thanks; we’ll keep this in mind when buying our first home.

Malia Davis

I like your idea to make a list of features you want in your home. We need to have at least 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms for all of us since our current home is so cramped! We’ll make that list with the other things we need in our new home and contact a real estate agent to discuss everything for our budget.

Duncan Lance

I do like that you recommend creating a budget with your mortgage payment as early as possible. After all, the amount of money you have to spend on a home will, obviously, have a huge impact on the home you buy. For example, if you know you can only afford homes within a certain price range then you can immediately cut out any homes that fall outside of it.

Jocelyn McDonald

My husband and I want to buy our first home together where we can start a family, but we’ve never done this before and could use some tips. Your article is just what we were looking for, and I liked how you said to make sure we take our time, look at many homes, and take notes of each one, and ask as many questions as we need too. Thanks; we’ll keep this in mind when shopping for our future home.

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