First-time Homebuyer Guide

Buying your first home can be overwhelming. But when you have the right mortgage professional by your side, buying your first home is fun and exciting, not stressful and anxious. Follow this guide to get started on the path to homeownership:

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5 Steps to Owning Your Home


Get Pre-Approved by Mortgage Choice

One of the most important steps in buying a home is obtaining financing. Before you even start searching for your first home, we want to talk to you and help determine what you can afford and learn about what types of loans are available.  One of my favorite pieces of advice is that we can tell you what you qualify for, but more so we can help YOU determine what you can afford.   Qualifying and affording are not always the same.  We’ll help figure it out.


Find Your Home with the Help of a Dedicated Realtor

When looking for a home to buy, having a buyers agent working solely for you is very important.  Don’t call the number on the sign.  Call a professional first.  We have several experienced, local agents that we can connect you with if you need help.  But the main point is to have an agent working for you. There are multiple ways to find your new home and the home buying process can be confusing, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Your trusted agent can help you navigate the market and simplify the process.


Make an Offer and Secure A Ratified Contract to Purchase

So you think you've found your new home... the next step is to make an offer! Every market is different, but if you've found the right one, it's best not to wait. Your Realtor will work with you to determine the best sales price and details of the offer. You'll need a Pre-Approval letter in hand before most sellers will consider your offer. There may be a bit of “back and forth” negotiating with the Seller before both parties reach an agreement and sign the contract. Most contracts require “Due Diligence funds”, “Earnest Money Deposits”, or both. Your agent can help you in deciding how to structure the contract to put your best foot forward.



Once you have a signed contract, you’re officially on the way to purchasing your new home! Before you get to closing, there are a few more important steps:

  • Financing – Finalize your loan program, gather the needed docs and sit back and relax while we do what we did best, handle your loan process and close on time.
  • Select closing or settlement agent and secure homeowner’s insurance for your home.


Closing (a.k.a. Settlement)

You’ve found your home, your offer has been accepted, the financing is in place and the inspections are complete. Now, there’s just one more key step in the process—closing!

  • The closing occurs when all the conditions of the contract have been met (full loan approval, evidence of clear title, insurance is in place, etc.).
  • Prior to the actual closing date, expect to review the list of fees and the terms and conditions of the contract. In addition, you'll need to know the amount that you'll need to bring to closing. Your Realtor and Mortgage Choice will assist you with this process.
  • Closings generally will occur at the office of the settlement agent you selected. At the closing, the lender “funds” the loan with a wire to the closing agent who disburses funds in exchange for the title to the property. This is the point at which transfer of ownership occurs and the buyer receives possession of the property.
  • Remember to carefully review all documents before signing. Be sure to ask the closing agent if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Get the keys to your new home!

Pre-Approval Process

The application requires your personal information as well as your employment and residence history for the past 2 years. You can complete the application online, in-person or over the phone.

We will need:

  • Copies of your pay stubs for the past 30 days OR
  • Copies of your Federal tax returns for the past 2 years (include income attachments) if self-employed
  • 2 years of W-2s
  • Copies of your asset statements for the past 2 months (checking, savings, stocks, 401k, etc.)

Down Payment Sources

If you’re like most people, the down payment on your house will likely be one of the biggest cash investments that you’ll make. There are a number of ways that you can get that amount of cash together.


Buyers often save regularly for years by reducing expenses, taking a second job or getting a smaller apartment if they are renting.


If you accept a cash gift, you’ll need to get it clearly in writing that the person making the gift has no financial interest in or obligation toward the property. A bank will not accept it if your “gift” is really a loan.

Proceeds from Sale of Existing Home

If you sell your home before you buy your next home, you may have proceeds from that sale that can be applied to the down payment on your new home.

Didn't find what you were looking for in our homebuyer guide? Contact us we would love to walk with you through this exciting procees.

1003 High House Rd #105, Cary, NC 27513  |  (919) 655-0330 office  |  (919) 655-0335 fax
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