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Buying a house can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. These steps will take you from start to close to home sweet home.

Step 1: Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford

  • When deciding how much to budget, factor in items like your income, expenses, and property taxes in the area you are looking.
  • A mortgage qualification calculator can help.

Step 2: Work with a Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO)

  • An MLO is your point person for a lender. They can help you create a budget, tell you about loan options, and walk you through the application process.
  • They can prequalify you, too, which gives you an idea of how much you may be able to afford based on your credit score and income.
  • Your MLO can also help you determine how much of a down payment you should be prepared to bring to closing. Your down payment can vary depending on the type of loan you apply for.
Average down payment on a house or condo in 2019<sup>1</sup>:  All homebuyers - 12%; First-time homebuyers - 6%

Average down payment on a house or condo in 20191

  • All homebuyers - 12%
  • First-time homebuyers - 6%

Step 3: Locate a Trusted Real Estate Agent

  • The agent will serve as your guide on the house hunt.

Step 4: Find Your House and Make an Offer

  • Think through what you want in a house, such as home type, size, and location.
  • When you find a home you want, make an offer – your agent can help determine a fair price based on a comparative market analysis.
  • Remember, the bigger the price tag, the bigger your payments, so always keep your budget in mind.
Typical closing costs on a mortgage<sup>2</sup> (with a smaller percentage for larger loans): 2-5%

Typical closing costs on a mortgage2 (with a smaller percentage for larger loans): 2-5%

Step 5: Submit a Loan Application

  • Offer accepted? Congratulations! Submit a loan application with the help of your loan officer.
  • If you want a home inspection and haven’t crossed it off your list yet, now is a good time to schedule it. There are plenty of independent inspectors who can help you.
  • As your expert adviser, your loan officer will lead you through the application process, credit approval, property appraisal, loan approval and preparing for closing.

Step 6: Close and Sign Final Paperwork

  • Your bank will work with a title company or attorney to prepare the mortgage note, deed, and title work required to transfer the property.
  • At last you’ll close on the house and sign all of the paperwork related to your loan.
  • Once all funds are collected and the contract is verified, you will receive the keys to your new house.

OK, there is actually one more step: make your house a home. This one is all up to you. Enjoy!

Want to learn more about the homebuying process?

Talk to a mortgage loan officer (MLO) or visit our Financial Wellness Center.

NOTICE: This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Conditions and restrictions may apply. Information and offers are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit and collateral approval. Not all loans or products are available in all states.

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