Every dream has a starting point


Purchasing a home can feel like a bunch of big decisions all at once, especially for a first-time homebuyer. Luckily, we work with homebuyers every day, answering all the big questions about homeownership, and we want to pass our experience, knowledge and home-buying tips on to you.

Talk to one of our loan officers to ask anything and everything you want to know about the home-buying process.

8 steps to buying your first home

If you’re a first-time homebuyer who’s decided it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing, then we’re here to support you through the home-buying process. After all, this is an exciting time.

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Step One

Figure out what you can afford


The most pragmatic of all the first-time homebuyer tips is establishing your budget. Every property is uniquely priced, so when buying your first home, use our affordability calculator to refine your search by knowing what you can afford from the start.

Get preapproved for your mortgage

Step Two

Get preapproved for your mortgage


It’s important to find a loan officer who can get you preapproved for your budgeted amount. You can then begin your search for your dream home knowing what you can afford. Sellers like buyers who are preapproved.

Though the process is pretty straightforward, it does require that you gather documents such as identifications, bank statements, plus income and asset statements.

Research real estate and Realtors

Step Three

Research real estate and Realtors


Let the house hunting begin, but don’t go it alone. Partnering with the right Realtor—one who understands your wants and can start researching right alongside you—can make a major difference in your home-buying experience and quality of home you end up in.

Make an offer on the right house

Step Four

Make an offer on the right house


Once your research and Realtor have helped identify the home that’s just right for you, it’s time to put your preapproval to work; it’s time to make an official offer. Don’t worry, it’s a nervous time for everyone. Take a deep breath, trust your instincts and enjoy the moment.

Select your loan program

Step Five

Select your loan program


You’ve found your home—now it’s time to turn your preapproval into an offer. Keep in mind, there are many first-time homebuyer programs to choose from, so you’ll want to work closely with your loan officer to find the program that’s best for you.

Have the house inspected

Step Six

Have the house inspected


Buying a house is a long-term investment. And because no home is perfect, you’ll want to hire a professional home inspector to thoroughly evaluate the integrity of the property and to tell you about any potential problems.

Get the home appraised

Step Seven

Get the home appraised


The lender ultimately needs to determine if the house you’re buying is worth the price you’re paying. To do this, they perform an appraisal of the property to evaluate if the home’s value matches (or exceeds) the amount of the loan.

If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to talk to your loan officer about your options.

Sign the papers to close the sale

Step Eight

Sign the papers to close the sale


Assuming the appraisal is favorable, then you’re just a few signatures away from making this house your home. These documents will legally bind you and the seller to the terms, as well as initiate the transferring of funds that makes your first-time homebuyer loan official. Congrats!

Find your
loan officer


With hundreds of local teams across the country, chances are pretty good we’re in your neighborhood.
Look us up.