Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers


So you’ve decided to buy your first home. It’s an exciting adventure and there are many things you’ll need to prepare for. Before you get going, here is a list of steps to help you along and make the process easier.

Pick your location and browse for homes online

One of the biggest things you’ll want to settle on before you start your search is the location where you want to live. If you’re not set on specific neighborhoods, think about the best area for your needs. Keep in mind the commute, schools, proximity to family and friends, and overall lifestyle.  You can use the tools found on to find homes that match your location and criteria.


Searching online is a great way to find what you’re looking for, but it can be overwhelming and tricky to understand the best process for making an offer on a home. You may be looking at homes that are out of your price range and you don’t want to get your heart set on something only to later find out that it doesn’t quite fit your budget.
Having a professional on your side to guide you through negotiations can help you avoid costly situations that will help you save in the long run. You can find an agent that works in your area on’s Find a Realtor search page.

Talk to a mortgage lender

It is a good idea to research and find a lender so that you can get pre-qualified for a loan. Starting this process early, especially in a hot market, may help bolster your offers on homes.

Improve your credit if needed

When you decide on a lender, your credit will be examined and you will receive a credit score. Anything above a 760 is considered a strong score; 700 to 759 is considered a good score; and 650 to 699 is considered a fair credit score. Your score will play a role in determining the interest rate you receive from your lender
If you find that your credit score is not where it should be, there are things that you can do to bump it up.

Don’t damage your credit report

When you’re in the process of buying your home, be sure to be mindful of your finances. Late credit payments and large credit purchases may lower your credit score or create questions from your lender, which can possibly hurt you in the loan process. Your loan isn’t fully approved until it goes through underwriting, and that can stretch throughout the closing period.

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