17 Steps To Successful Homeownership

Homeownership continues to be an integral part of the American Dream. The reasons Americans invest in buying a home have stayed constant throughout the housing recovery. According to Fannie Mae, the top 5 reasons people buy a home are:

  1. To have a better place to raise their children
  2. To have a place where their family can feel safe
  3. To have more space
  4. To have freedom to renovate to their own taste
  5. Owning is a better investment.

Before setting out on your home buying adventure, assemble a team of real estate experts to help you on the journey. Take time to research, interview, and find the best real estate professionals for your needs and wants. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is a great place to start the search for loan officers, mortgage brokers, mortgage banks, savings and loan companies, and credit unions. Your team of experts will guide you through each step on becoming a new homeowner.

Below is a timeline of each stage in the home buying process. The summary was provided courtesy of Wendy M. Doerzbacher, a Senior Mortgage Planner with Academy Mortgage Corp in Hauppauge, NY. 

  1. Pre-Approval: Fill out a quick profile form, submit preliminary documents, and schedule a consultation with your mortgage planner. 
  2. Find a Home: Make a list of your wants and needs. Hire a realtor to help find the perfect home.
  3. Make an Offer: Offer is accepted and binder is signed. Schedule home inspection. Inspection report goes to your real estate attorney.
  4. Purchase Contract: Review and sign your purchase contract with your real estate attorney.
  5. Loan Application Process: Gather remaining documents and submit with executed loan forms, disclosures, and executed contract of sale from seller. Your file is submitted to the loan processing department. 
  6. Appraisal Order: Appraisal is ordered within 48 hours of signing the contract. The appraisal report is usually completed within 5 days.
  7. Processing: Loan processor completes all verifications for credit, employment, and assets.
  8. Appraisal Report: Report is received and reviewed. Copy is sent to you. Processor updates any outstanding conditions pending your loan approval.
  9. Underwriting: Processor submits your file to the underwriting department for final approval and commitment letter. The commitment letter is issued to you and your attorney for review and signature.
  10. Title Report: Your attorney submits the title report to the bank attorney for review and clearance. 
  11. Insurance: Use the copy of your appraisal report and mortgagee clause to help choose homeowners insurance. Title insurance, flood insurance, and home warranty are also part of protecting your investment.
  12. Clear to Close: Submit all closing conditions noted on commitment letter for final clearance.
  13. Schedule Closing: You and your attorney are notified that your file is clear to close. A closing date is scheduled by your attorney and the seller’s attorney with the bank attorney. 
  14. Final Walk Through: A final walk through of the property is done to approve the condition of the house before signing closing documents.
  15. Closing: All parties sign closing documents with the bank attorney. Certified check instructions are provided 24 hours before closing.  
  16. Homeownership: Transfer of title from buyer to seller. Congrats you are now a homeowner! 
  17. Post-closing: Grieve your property taxes and apply for STAR. 

Homeownership remains a powerful part of the American Dream. Create a team of real estate professionals to help guide you through the home buying process and achieve your dream of homeownership. 

Click HERE to search for homes for sale.

Bob Young

Bob Young

Real Estate for Sale in West Michigan
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