Understanding The Home-buying Process

Step 1: Do Your Research!

In order to understand the real estate market where you’re looking to purchase a property, doing an adequate amount of research before you begin the home buying process is absolutely essential. It is important to understand the current market conditions in the area and to take note of average sale prices in the neighborhoods that you’re interested in.

Step 2: Find Out How Much You Can Actually Afford

Before you can even think about what you might want in a home, you have to find out how much house you can actually afford! Lenders typically recommend that people purchase homes that are valued between three to five times their annual income (with a 20% down payment and a moderate amount of debt). There are many online resources online that can help give you an idea as to what you can truly afford, like this mortgage calculator:


Step 3: Determine Your Credit Score/Get Prequalified

The hands-down best way to find out exactly how much you can spend is by getting pre-qualified through your preferred lender. Your mortgage banker will require that you send in some essential financial information so they can develop the most accurate price range that you should be looking at. When it comes to determining credit, your mortgage banker will require some specific financial documents to develop a better understanding of your financial situation.

Step 4: Pick Your Agent

Real estate agents are essential players when it comes to the home-buying process. Agents can be very helpful due to their extensive knowledge of not only the home-buying process, but also the areas in which you’re looking to buy. Also, real estate agents have access to information that is not easily accessed by the general public. If you are in need of real estate services, feel free to contact our team at 314-413-1520!

Step 5: Pick The House and Write an Offer!

Once you’ve shopped for homes and have found “the one,” it is essential to check out all the little details to make sure that there are no problems. Some examples include:

  • Test the plumbing by running the shower to see how strong the water pressure is and how long it takes to get hot water

  • Try the electrical system by turning switches on and off

  • Open and close the windows and doors to see if they work properly

In addition to understanding the home, it’s also important to understand the neighborhood you’re purchasing in:

  • Are the other homes on the block well maintained?

  • How much traffic does the street get?

  • Is there enough street parking for your family and visitors?

  • Is it conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and public transportation?

Step 6: Get It Inspected

Having an inspection done is hands-down the most important step in the home-buying process. Inspections are used to uncover defects that typically go unseen to the untrained eye. In the event that there is something wrong with the home, you can use that to negotiate the cost of the home down to where you want it.

Step 7: Get The Best Mortgage for Your Situation

Lenders have a very wide range of competitively priced loan agreements that can vary depending on your current financial situation. Some prospective home-buyers are interested in having loans in which monthly payments are kept low while others may want monthly payments that never change. In order to find out which type of loan is best for you, contact your preferred lender.

Step 8: Have an Appraisal Done on The Home

An appraisal is typically arranged by the lender and is completed by a third-party in order to determine whether or not you’re paying a fair price for the home.

Step 9: Coordinate the Paperwork

There is an unbelievably large amount of paperwork involved in the transfer of ownership of a property, and having a real estate agent helps to ease the burden created by the whole process.


At this point, you will sign all the paperwork required to finalize the purchase as well as sign off on all the loan agreements. It is also important to understand that it does take several days for your mortgage to be funded but as soon as the seller receives your check, you are ready to move in!