Buying a home is a big life decision that requires plenty of time, thought and effort. With the right help and information, home buying can be a fun and enjoyable experience that will teach you so much about the real estate and mortgage markets, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Take a look at our top four home buying milestones to make sure you’re on the right path to home ownership.

Determining Your Budget

The first major milestone to buying a home is determining your budget. This can be tricky to do on your own, so banks, lenders and mortgage brokers will happily give you a range of what you can comfortably afford. Typically, home buyers are advised to choose a home that costs no more than three to five times their annual income, assuming there is a 20% down payment.

Once you’ve selected a number that best fits your budget and lifestyle, it’s time to get pre-approved for a loan so sellers and real estate agents know you’re a serious buyer.

Making An Offer

Once you’re pre-qualified for a home loan, it’s time to start shopping around for the perfect home! Real estate agents will show you a lot of homes, so take plenty of notes to help keep track of what you’ve seen. When searching for the perfect home, be sure to take your time and consider external factors like school zones, nearby restaurants, potential neighbors, and even the amount of street traffic – and never buy a home without getting it inspected first!

When you’ve found the home of your dreams, it’s time to make an offer! Your real estate agent will help negotiate a fair price with the seller. Once the seller accepts, get ready to hit the ground running with the mortgage loan process.

Working With a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers can find you the best home loan for your unique circumstances, including jumbo loans for luxury real estate, VA loans for military members and veterans, conventional loans for those simply looking for low interest rates, and many more.

Home buyers choose to work with mortgage brokers because they have access to shopping the entire mortgage market for you, so you know you’ll be getting the absolute best deal. Plus, mortgage brokers often have the ability to negotiate lower interest rates and compare deals unlike banks who can only offer their in-house loan options. Learn more about the differences between mortgage brokers and banks here.

Closing On Your New Home

The best part of the home buying process is closing day! On this special day, you and the seller will sign all of the necessary paperwork to complete the home buying process. Make sure you have some champagne ready so you can celebrate, and then get ready to plan your big move!

Have more home buying questions? We’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more about the mortgage process and other ways we can help you buy a new home.