There comes a time when people decide to make the dream of homeownership a reality. June is National Homeownership Month and the perfect time to begin your home buying journey. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or you are looking for your forever home, here are a few necessary tips to keep in mind in order to achieve your homeownership goals. 


1. Find a mortgage company. Before approaching a realtor to purchase a home, your first step is to find a mortgage company to secure the financing. Through the pre-approval process, you’ll learn more about your approved home loan price range. These funds from your loan will be used to purchase the home. 


2. Do your homework. Your mortgage loan officer will pull your credit and request documents concerning your personal information. These documents include paystubs, the last two years of federal tax returns, W2s and 1099s. You’ll also want to provide any documentation showing supplemental income received such as social security or pension. 

Also be prepared to: 

  • Verify assets associated with bank accounts, retirement and investments accounts

  • Discuss rates, terms and programs to secure the rate for your loan once you have an accepted offer from the seller

  • Ask if you qualify for any down payment assistance programs. If you qualify, your loan officer will discuss those program guidelines and secure the funds to use for your purchase. 

Your loan officer will secure an appraiser to ensure the property’s sales price is supported by the property’s value.


3. Find a realtor. Your real estate agent will work with you to locate homes in your approved price range and to write the contract to be presented to the seller for consideration. Once accepted, your realtor will work with you to obtain an inspector to assess the property and notify you of any concerns that you may want to present to the seller to address before moving forward with the purchase of the property.


4. Close the deal. All documentation is presented to the underwriter for final approval, and once approved, you will go to the title company to close on the purchase of your home. At the closing of your home, you will sign all the necessary documents that confirm the terms of your loan you discussed with the loan officer at the beginning of the process. You will sign documents that will secure your ownership of the property. 


5. Enjoy. Once you’ve signed the papers on your new home, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You work hard to make your dreams a reality – be sure to celebrate this exciting chapter in life! 


Denise White serves as a mortgage loan officer (NMLS ID# 424291) with Simmons Bank (NMLS ID# 4846633), member FDIC. Views in this article are those of White individually and may not necessarily reflect those of Simmons Bank. 


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