Buying a house may be the most complicated financial process of your entire life. We’ve broken it down into 10 straightforward steps to guide you through the process:

  1. Choose a REALTOR® – In the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing, and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. Those professionals are the local Realtors who serve your area.
  2. Get a mortgage pre-approval – Most first-time buyers need to finance their home purchase, and a consultation with a mortgage lender is a crucial step in the process. Find out how much you can afford before you begin your home search.
  3. Consult with your REALTOR® – Your agent will work with you to determine the needs and required features of your new home.
  4. Look at homes – A quick search on our site will bring up thousands of homes for sale. Educating yourself on your local market and working with an experienced Realtor can help you narrow your priorities and make an informed decision about which home to choose.
  5. Choose a home – While no one can know for sure what will happen to housing values, if you choose to buy a home that meets your needs and priorities, you’ll be happy living in it for years to come.
  6. Get funding – The cost of financing your home purchase is usually greater than the price of the home itself (after interest, closing costs, and taxes are added). Get as much information as possible regarding your mortgage options and other costs.
  7. Make an offer – While much attention is paid to the asking price of a home, a proposal to buy includes both the price and terms. In some cases, terms can represent thousands of dollars in additional value—or additional costs—for buyers.
  8. Get insurance – No sensible car owner would drive without insurance, so it figures that no homeowner should be without insurance, either. Real estate insurance protects owners in the event of catastrophe. If something goes wrong, insurance can be the bargain of a lifetime.
  9. Get an Inspection – A professional inspection will evaluate the quality and safety of the plumbing, electrical systems, heating, wiring, appliances, roof, foundation and more.
  10. Closing – The closing process, which in different parts of the country is also known as “settlement” or “escrow,” is increasingly computerized and automated. In practice, closings bring together a variety of parties who are part of the real estate transaction.
  11. Move In!