9 Steps To Purchasing Your First Home

  • Review your finances: The first step is to take a good look at your financial situation so you know what amount of mortgage payment you can afford and how much you have available for a down payment.

  • Hire your Real Estate Agent: Interview agents to find someone you are comfortable working with and who understands what you are looking for. Want to talk? Contact me!

  • Get Loan Pre-Approval: If you are planning to get a mortgage you want to find out how much a lender will give you before you start looking and most sellers expect buyers to have their pre-approval before they open their home to showings. Looking for a lender? Here are a few to talk with.

  • Find Your Home: Set up showings and go take a look at houses to find the one for you. Set up your home search here.

  • Make an Offer and Get it Accepted: Work with your agent to present your best offer

  • Have Inspections Done and Get Your Loan Started: You will want to hire inspectors to look at the home you have selected and make sure there is nothing that will cause problems in the future. You will also talk with your loan officer and get the lender started on your loan.

  • Have Appraisal Completed: The lender will order the appraisal to have a third party verify that the home is worth the amount you are borrowing.

  • Schedule Your Closing: With about a week to go you will review your final numbers to make sure everything is what you expected and pick a day and time to close.

  • Close and Get The Keys: After about an hour of signing paperwork, and handing over your downpayment check, you will get the keys and can go home. Congratulations, you are a homeowner!

Downpayment and Closing Cost Help

There are programs to help first-time home buyers with the costs associated with buying a home. Many of these are available to buyers with certain incomes or purchasing in certain areas. In the spring of each year many lenders offer down payment assistance programs for all first-time buyers. You may also be able to negotiate Seller’s Assistance as part of your deal, where the seller can help with some of the closing costs, up to an amount allowed by the lender.

A good overview of Pennsylvania down payment assistance is available here.

Credit Help

Most lenders are looking for a 620 credit score in order to do a loan, although a few can go down to 580. If you need to improve your credit in order to be able to get a mortgage a housing counselor can help. The Mon Valley Initiative has a housing counselor on staff that can help you get ready, you can find more details here.

Download My Free Home Buyer’s Guide

Everything you need to know about buying a home in Pittsburgh.

  • What to expect when buying a home

  • What to look for in a loan

  • Finding your real estate agent

  • Making an offer

  • What comes after your offer is accepted