Consider the Commitment
Buying a new home can seem overwhelming, but at Gateway Mortgage Group, we’re here to help navigate you through every step.
Before you dive into a new mortgage, take a moment to reflect on your current financial situation and consider these factors:
- Savings: How much money do you have set aside for a down payment, unexpected home repairs and a comfortable reserve of future mortgage payments (many experts suggest 6 months worth of mortgage payments in accessible accounts)?
- Current Income: Do you consider your income to be stable? Are you relying on variable income like commission and bonuses? Does a new mortgage fit consistently into your monthly spending habits?
- Time: Owning a home means devoting some time to home maintenance or repair, or having the funds to hire someone else to do so.
What Kind of Home?
We know it’s tempting to start touring homes as soon as possible, but the search will be easier if you think about what you really want in a home and establish search criteria before you begin.
- Budget: Start with a budget. What size of loan can you pre-qualify for? How much are you willing to spend on a monthly mortgage including insurance and property taxes? How much savings do you have for a down payment? The answers to these questions will start you thinking about your budget range. Try one of our calculators or talk to one of our loan officers to get a clearer picture.
- Size and Style: How big of a house do you want or need? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? How big of a garage? How big of a back yard? Do you want a pool?
- Location: Do you want your home to be close to your work? Is the school district important to you? Do you have a particular neighborhood in mind?
- Remodel: Do you want a home that is move-in ready, or are you considering purchasing a fixer-upper?
- Compromise: If you are looking to purchase a new home with your spouse or significant other, each of you should make a list of the top 5 things you want in a home. Compare those lists, find common ground and determine the order of importance of those items (large yard, big closets, school district, 3-car garage, etc.). Present your Realtor with a final list of 5-6 must have items. This will be extremely helpful when your Realtor begins presenting homes for you to consider.
Begin Your Search
As you search for your home, we suggest you:
- Application: Starting your application is simple with LinkStep, Gateway’s digital mortgage experience. Through it, you can apply for a loan from any device, establish your budget and engage a local loan officer to help you through the financial process of buying a home.
- Real Estate Agent: If you don’t have a real estate agent, we recommend you get one with the Realtor designation. A good, local Realtor will understand the housing market and guide you to available options, prices, and bids that are in line with your search criteria. They can also be your advocate during the negotiation process.
- Flexibility: If you’re searching for a home in a seller’s market, you’ll want to be prepared to act quickly to houses that come on the market. Don’t make a rash decision, but when you’re ready to make an offer on a home you really want, don’t delay.
Once Your Offer Is Accepted
As you await your closing date, several things must occur first. Your Gateway Loan Officer will be available to guide you through these steps.
- Appraisal: A professional appraisal of the property must be completed for the underwriting process.
- Title Search: A legal search on the property title must be conducted to ensure there are no liens or obstacles to the title being transferred.
- Inspection: You will need to hire a home inspector to inspect the property. This protects you, in case there are any problems that need to be addressed or repaired.
- Loan Approval: We will work with you to get you a timely approval on your loan.
- Title Insurance: You will need to secure title insurance for the property.
- Schedule Closing: We will work with you and all the parties involved to establish a closing date and time.
Close on Your Home
The big day arrives at last.
- Bring your government-issued ID and arrive at closing on time and ready to sign many documents.
- Go over each closing document and ensure you understand the terms and are comfortable with them before signing each one.
- Make arrangements to cover the closing costs and down payment (as necessary).
- Move in. Celebrate. Not necessarily in that order.