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Your 10 Steps to Buying a Home

January 22, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: First Time Buyer, Home Buyer Education, Homeownership

If your 2016 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, visit
  • 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.  We also encourage you to check out our Texas Mortgage Calculator to estimate your mortgage interest rate based on your FICO score.

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.


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.

Derek Dewitt

My wife and I want to buy a home next year, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about knowing how much you can afford first by creating a budget. I’ll be sure to check if we qualify for a down payment grant like you said.

Steph Sadatmand

My wife and I are looking to sell our home but never had a clue on how to get it ready to sell. I like what you said about knowing the market so that you can set an appropriate price, that’s something I need to look into. Thank you for sharing!

Penelope Smith

This is some really good information about getting a mortgage. It is good to know that it would be smart for me to get pre-approved for a loan. It is good to know I will need to contact a lender to help me with that. Personally, I would want to get someone who has been in the business for a while to help me out with handling a mortgage.

Richard Davis

I agree you have to know how much you can afford and set your budget because there will be unexpected fees along the way especially when buying a house so it is good to be prepared.  Great steps by the way!

Timmy Simmons

This is great information and very useful. I love that you are getting real stories and advice from real agents. Success leaves clues!

James Anderson

Thanks for enumerating the steps that one should observe in buying a new home. What caught my attention is when you said that before you buy a property, one should first list the features that one needs and wants for their home. I believe that doing so makes it easier for one to balance the importance of considering one’s budget while making sure that the things they prefer and need are met when the home is bought. We will surely follow this step, since we also want to buy a property that is bigger than where we used to live in because of an additional family member.

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