Buying a Home–Steps to Take

You may be single, and going at it alone, or you may be purchasing the home with your spouse or another person. That other person may be a co-habitant of the property or someone, probably a family member, who will co-own—but not live in—the home after it is purchased.

  1. Give some careful thought to determine if your mindset is right to make a home purchase. Decide if buying makes more sense for you than renting. See the section Choosing a Home and complete the Wants and Needs Checklist.
  2. Decide if you'll want a new, modern dwelling or the charm of an older home in an established neighborhood. Perhaps a condominium can combine the comfort of home ownership with a more carefree lifestyle. See the section Buying a Home to read about your housing choices.
  3. Learn about real estate brokers and how to select one; see the section Real Estate Brokers.
  4. Financing the property is as great a consideration as finding the property itself. Decide on your down payment. Do you know how much mortgage you'll qualify for? Is your credit good? What kind of mortgages are available? See the section How Much Can You Afford? and Mortgage Financing to read all about these important issues.
  5. Become aware of the process of making an offer on a home. Contracts are legally binding documents that you must be familiar with to avoid making a serious mistake. If there's more than one potential owner, you have decisions to make as to who's going to be bound by the contract terms. See the section The Buying Transaction.
  6. You learned about mortgage options in Mortgage Financing. Now get up to speed with the application process. Become familiar with the steps involved and the decisions you must make. See the section The Buying Transaction.
  7. Decide how to own the property from a legal standpoint if you are buying with someone other than a spouse. See the section Legal Forms of Ownership to give you some background.
  8. Your lender and good financial planning both require you to insure your home. Get up to speed with issues surrounding homeowner's insurance, see the section Insuring the Property.
  9. Before you begin the process of closing title on your home, it pays to be familiar with the details and know what to expect. See the section The Closing.
  10. Review the steps you need to take to get moving.
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