FROM HERE TO HOME.

FROM HERE TO HOME.

Buying a home is no small feat. With a little planning and prep work, it's also completely doable. We've put together these eight (8) steps to help guide you. Keep in mind that each person's situation is unique, so everyone's process is a bit different, too. This is just to give you a sense of what's to come.
Happy homing.
You're only eight
steps from home.
You're only eight
steps from home.
1. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Who knew?
A loan officer,
that's who.

1. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

What
Learn about the various aspects of buying a home, including credit scores, loan programs and shopping tips.
Why
Knowledge boosts confidence and sets you up for success on the road to home.
How
Speak with a loan officer. It's the simplest, surest way to get up to speed. No cost, no obligation, and no big whoop.
Tip
Check out these three resources for Credit Scores, Loan Programs and Shopping Tips.
2. GET PRE-APPROVED

2. GET PRE-APPROVED

What
A formal pre-approval will include pulling your credit and a review of your qualifications via an automated underwriting system. Upon approval you will receive a pre-approval letter.
Why
A pre-approval letter gives sellers and real estate agents confidence you’re serious about buying as well as information about what you can afford. Attaching a pre-approval letter to any offer places you in a better negotiating position.
How
The easiest way to get started is to contact a loan office who can get the ball rolling over the phone. You can also complete our pre-approval form prior to speaking with a loan officer. (This authorizes us to review your credit and qualifications.)
Tip
Prep by reading our Getting Started Checklist to see what documentation you’ll need during the process.
We approve of
getting pre-approved.
3. CHOOSE A REALTOR
A realtor can make a
real difference. Really.

3. CHOOSE A REALTOR

What
Partner with a realtor to make home shopping as focused and streamlined as possible.
Why
You’ll want an experienced ally when it comes to finding potential homes, learning property values and negotiating an offer.
How
Start by finding agents active in the areas you are considering or would like to buy. Interview a few before choosing one. If you’re not sure where to get started, we can introduce you to a qualified realtor.
Tip
Think of your real estate agent, loan officer and you as a team. Your home team, if you will. It takes all three working together to be successful.
4. SHOP FOR A HOME

4. SHOP FOR A HOME

What
Being a smart shopper will make your search more enjoyable and keep you focused on only those homes that will be a good fit.
Why
Home shopping requires a lot of legwork. Having a list of must-haves and like-to-haves will focus your search, narrow your options, and make decision-time easier.
How
Share your home preferences with your realtor. With your list, they will pinpoint homes that match your location, price range, interests and community that suits you now and in the future.
Tip
Don’t get tripped up by carpet, paint color and other cosmetics. Consider the structural integrity of the house, including the foundation and roof as well as the property. Fill out the Home Buying Wishlist and read this article on Five Tips For Finding The Right Home.
Howdy, neighbor.
5. MAKE AN OFFER
Write up an offer
that works for you.

5. MAKE AN OFFER

What
So you’ve found your dream home. Now it’s time to craft an official offer.
Why
This is the first step in negotiating an agreed-upon price with the seller. It’s important to make an offer that’s in your best interest while also giving you the greatest chance of getting the home.
How
Work with your realtor and loan officer to draw up an offer that is structured to achieve your financial goals. Whether you’re looking for a particular payment threshold, concerned about closing costs, or aiming for a specific loan-to-value ratio, the combined expertise of your loan officer and real estate agent will help stack the deck in your favor.
Tip
Before finalizing your offer, your loan officer can help update your pre-approval letter to better negotiate with the seller. Also be sure to check out these resources for creative ways to make an offer more appealing without costing you additional money: Tips For Better Negotiating and How To Make An Offer.
6. FINALIZE THE APPLICATION

6. FINALIZE THE APPLICATION

What
Once an offer is accepted, loan processing begins. You’ll gather documentation and finalize the application. Your lender goes into high gear on things like inspections, appraisals and underwriting procedures.
Why
It’s on your lender to ensure you, your loan and your home are an excellent fit.
How
The processing of your application includes the assessment of your ability to afford the mortgage, and any potential concerns about the house and property. Plenty of legwork and paperwork to be done by all parties.
Tip
Be patient down the home stretch. It may move slower than you prefer, but these last couple of steps are just as important as the first ones. You’ll probably be asked to hunt down additional documentation beyond what you’ve already provided. Stay the course and follow your loan officer’s lead.
Your lender takes a good
look to ensure things
are looking good.
7. PREPARE FOR MOVING
Pack it up, tape it
set it down.

7. PREPARE FOR MOVING

What
While your application is being finalized, start prepping for your upcoming move.
Why
You may not feel like much is happening. Regular check-ins with your loan officer are helpful as we put the finishing touches on your loan. Getting a jump on your move keeps you active and sane while things are being finalized.
How
Make a list and start checking off things like packing, change of utilities, change of address, etc.
Tip
You can start with this helpful checklist from Real Simple.* But don’t pack financial documents like tax returns. The minute you box them up is the minute you’ll need them.
* MLOA has no affiliation with the company or website of Real Simple. This link has been supplied for informational purposes only.
8. CLOSE THE LOAN

8. CLOSE THE LOAN

What
You’re almost home! Underwriting will issue an approval which is the signal that you are “clear to close.” At this point, the loan documents move through quality assurance.
Why
One last thorough review of your file ensures everything is accurate and consistent. This step is critical to making sure the official closing goes off without a hitch.
How
While the t’s are being crossed and i’s dotted, a closing time is scheduled where you’ll sit down with the closing agent, sign on the dotted lines, and get the keys to your new home.
Tip
Watch where you point that bottle. Wouldn’t want to get champagne all over the floor of your new home.
And there was
great rejoicing.