Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer searching for your first home or a seasoned pro moving to a new location, buying a home is an exciting time. However, the home buying process can appear complicated at times. In our new infographic, we provide a step-by-step mortgage guide to help simplify the road to homeownership.

To view a full version of our road to homeownership infographic, click here.

When it comes to buying a house, getting a letter of pre-approval is the first, and arguably most important, step. Some mortgage pre-approval benefits allow you to determine how much you’re eligible to borrow, save time looking at homes, earn a good standing with realtors and sellers, and increase your negotiating and bargaining power.

Work with your real estate agent to define your idea of the perfect house. During this step, be sure to consider things like home values, home styles, property taxes, square footage, school districts, crime rates and commute times. There are many online home buying tools to help aid you during this part of the process.

It’s time to get out there and start viewing houses! Sounds simple, right? It can be if you review your wish list with your realtor. Or, put technology to work for you—use helpful real estate and house hunting apps!

Make your offer stand out so you can buy “the one” by leveraging your pre-approval letter and increasing your earnest money deposit. It never hurts to ask your lender to put in a good word, or write a heartfelt letter to the seller.

Once your offer is accepted, contact your loan officer and submit the necessary paperwork, including (but not limited to) bank statements, tax returns, W-2s and pay stubs.

After you apply for a mortgage, schedule your home inspection. Although home inspections aren’t required for purchase, we strongly suggest that you do not buy a home without a private inspection, as the home might require structural repairs.

Your loan officer will order a home appraisal on your behalf. The appraisal will determine the home’s market value and ensure the value of the home supports the loan amount.

While you’re waiting for approval, start shopping for homeowner’s insurance. This must be done prior to closing. You’ll want to determine which policy has the best coverage, choose a deductible and understand market value vs. replacement value.

Once processed, your loan officer will submit your application to underwriting to move forward in the approval process. Additional documentation may be needed.

Once you get the “Clear to Close” from underwriting, you’ll want to work with your loan officer and real estate agent to schedule a closing date.

Your lender and title company will outline your down payment and closing costs, and necessary paperwork you’ll need to bring to closing. This will be a minimum of three days prior to closing.

The big day is finally here! Sign your name on the dotted line, pay your closing costs and obtain the title to the house. Congratulations! You are now officially a homeowner.

Ready to start the road to homeownership? Send us a message, and we’ll connect you with a member of our lending team who can help.

Ericka Staton

As the Marketing Director at Ross Mortgage, Ericka is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of all marketing activities. When she's not hard at work, you can find her spending time with her husband and two kids. Ericka enjoys cooking and loves to try new recipes to run by her three favorite critics.

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