Dreaming of Your First Home

Buying a home is a big deal, and it pays to get your ducks in a row before you make an offer. Here are some important steps to take.

Where to Start:

  1. Set your budget – How much home can you afford? Determine a monthly mortgage payment you are comfortable with (and will qualify for) and start there. 

  2. Save for the down payment. If you can manage to save 20%, you'll have instant equity in your home, may be able to avoid mortgage insurance and will have a lower monthly payment.

  3. Check your credit score. Lenders will decide whether to give you a loan and how much interest they will charge based on your credit score, among other things.

  4. Pay down your debt. This goes hand in hand with having a good credit score.

  5. Find out how large a loan you can get. You can apply for your home loan, prequalification or pre-approval, with Greater Texas and Aggieland Credit Union. 
  • Prequalification – This is a qualification of your credit profile and loan terms based upon verbal review of income/assets/etc. 
  • Pre-Approval – This is a pre-approval of your documented income/assets, and is a much more detailed qualification process. 

6.Prepare your documents for the application – When you apply for a loan make sure you have the following to support your application:

  • Picture ID
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Address for the last 2 years
  • W-2’s for the last 2 years and 30 days of pay stubs
  • Last 2 months of bank statements to verify funds for down payment and closing and/or 2 months reserves
  • Tax returns with all schedules for the last 2 years
  • Estimated value of other assets
  • Divorce decree, if applicable 

7.Develop your home buyer profile. Make a list of what's important to you. Ask yourself:

  • How long do I see myself living in my new home?
  • What style of home would work best for me (single family, condo, townhome)?
  • What part of town would I like to live in?
  • Would I like something move-in ready or would a fixer-upper suffice?

8.Find a reputable real estate agent. Ask people you trust if they would recommend someone, or if you're new to a city, ask the agent to provide references.

9.Research homes and recent sales nearby. Find out the average price you could expect to pay, so you don't offer too much. Your real estate agent can help.

10. Get a home inspection. When you've pinned down your financing and are ready to make an offer, make sure to get the home inspected first – and make your offer contingent on a good inspection.

11.Factor in all costs. Make a list of other expenses such as insurance, utilities, furnishings, lawn upkeep, association dues, etc. These should be included in your monthly budget.

Move In with Us

We work with first-time home buyers every day and offer a variety of mortgage products. Our job is to make the process as easy as possible for you and to help you find the loan that will work best for your situation. Contact a Greater Texas|Aggieland Credit Union mortgage loan officer at (855) 699-5919 or learn more about our home loans.