9 Steps To Home Buying

Dated: 08/16/2018

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Yes, we have all heard at least 1 or 2 horror stories from friends and family members that may have had a tough buying experience when they purchased their first home. Newsflash...this doesn't have to be YOUR story. Statistics have shown that savvy buyers usually have the best experience when  purchasing their first home. Understanding the requirements and steps in the buying process, coupled with a team of professionals that will provide you honest answers during this process can be the exact remedy to ease the anxiety that new home buyers may feel. Those stories you've heard may sound intimidating but let me uncover 8 phases of the buying process that will put you at ease and help make your goal of homeownership more clear! 


1) Credit & DTI -Your credit scores matter. Yes,  the FHA will accept  clients with a lower score but keep in mind; the lower your scores are the more expensive it is to borrow from the banks. Higher rates and fees are never cost effective. 

You also need to be aware of your Debt to Income ratio (DTI). This is your total monthly bills divided by your monthly income. For example if your bills total $1500.00 per month and your gross income (income before taxes) each month is $3800.00, then your DTI = 39%. The banks are just as concerned with this figure as they are about your credit score. You need to make sure your credit score is not too low and your DTI is not too high. Consulting an experienced and knowledgable mortgage professional is key when determining these figures. Your realtor here at Gateway Home Services will have excellent mortgage professionals on speed dial! 

2)Get Approved To Shop - Provide all documents that your lender and real estate agent ask for "quickly!" This is very imperative. Your team of professionals need all documentation in order to give you sound answers and advice on this process. Providing the necessary documents timely will definitely make your transaction go smoothly. Once this step is complete your lender will be able to pin point your exact purchase pricing. At this point you and your realtor can go shopping! 

3) Finding Your Home - Of course this is the fun part! Be sure to communicate exactly what you need in a home to your agent. Typically your realtor will send you a list of homes that meet your criteria and you will pick which ones you want to view. After viewing the homes of your choice let your agent know  which house is best for you. Now it's time to make an offer! 

4)Open Escrow - Once a seller accepts your offer on the house,  you are ready for the next phase: "Open Escrow." This means start the transaction with the help of a title & escrow company.  The escrow company is an unbiased 3rd party that will handle all of the paperwork and money during the entire transaction.  In essence, this company completes the transfer of funds and property from one party to the next . They record documents concerning your purchase with the county that you buy in. Your realtor will inform you of all items and monies required to open escrow. This is why it is imperative that you are approved for a home loan before you go shopping. Opening escrow means, your contracts with the seller of your dream house are signed and ready to go! Again, turning in all documents to escrow quickly is key to a smooth transaction! 

5) Get Inspections Done -  Your realtor will be working with you and your lender to ensure that all inspections are ordered directly after escrow begins. Review all inspection reports thoroughly with your agent. The reports will provide detailed information that you need regarding the house you're buying. If any issues arise it's best that they are made known and tackled by you and your realtor early in the process. 

6) Final Paperwork - During the process of getting inspections complete; your lender will be requesting further documentation from you. Remember get everything in quick! After review of the inspections and documentation are deemed acceptable your loan officer will give the green light to go to closing or "clear to close." This means that the lender will prepare your loan documents and have them emailed to escrow. Once received the escrow company will prepare the loan documents and schedule a time for you and everyone on your mortgage loan to sign the documents.  These forms are then prepared by escrow to be sent back to your lender for review and final sign off. 

7) Final Walk Through -This is a final review of the home prior to closing your transaction with escrow.  It usually takes place 48 hours before closing. The purpose of this walk through is to ensure the house is in the same condition it was in when you first fell in love with it. 

8) Closing - You are almost there! "Closing" is the day that the escrow company receives the funds for your loan from the title company. This means that they are going to balance all monies in the transaction and issue funds according to what the purchase agreement (contract) and escrow instructions have spelled out. Depending on the county you live in the escrow company will record your mortgage with the county recorder's office the same day as closing or the very next business day. Once your purchase/loan is recorded with the county you are the official owner of the house.

9) Getting your KEYS! -Congrats homeowner!! You made it!! Typically the CA Real Estate Purchase agreement will provide the seller with 3 days to have all of their items out of the house and hand over the keys. You will want to discuss with your realtor in detail how many days after closing you will have your keys in hand. Keep in mind closing day is usually not the day you get your keys in hand. Note: If the house you are purchasing is vacant then it is likely your realtor can negotiate getting the keys the same day as closing for you.  Be sure to discuss this detail with your agent at the start of phase #3.

Now you see, the home buying process is not always what you hear. If you have been on your job or reported self employment income for 2 or more years and your credit (FICO) score is at least at a 500, give me a call TODAY. 

You could be the next "winning" homeowner with us here at Gateway Home Services!

Call, email or visit my website to view available properties today! 


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Nikia R. Watts

License#01738120

Call: 909-353-3224 

Click here to search homes in your area TODAY! 

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