What to Expect When You Are Buying

What to Expect When You Are Buying


  • We are in the strongest housing market in a decade. – Be prepared for a competitive buyers market, if you a prepared financially and willing to act quickly you will be ready to find your dream home.
  • Saving for a down payment – Colorado has a variety of down payment assistance programs for qualified buyers. Speak with your lender on the variety of down payment options from 0%-20% down payments. Keep in mind even if you qualify for $0 down payment you will need money for your home inspection, closing costs, and moving expenses.
  • Determine home affordability- take the time to do the math on your debt to income ratio. Make sure you account for all your expenses. If this is your first home, you have to factor in your utility bills, home owners insurance, mortgage insurance, commuting cost to work, maintenance costs to update and maintain your home.
  • Check your credit- request your credit report from the 3 major providers. Dispute any items that are not valid. If you have any blemishes on your report get those cleaned up. Traditionally the higher your credit score the better interest rate.
  • Get pre-approved – find a lender who is competitive with rates, knowledgeable on current loan programs, and can offer a guarantee you will close on time. Your pre-approval with set your maximum budget for your new home.
  • Hire a real estate agent – find an agent who understands you and the home market you are shopping in. Working with an agent offers many advantages in this competitive market including knowledge, faster access to new listings, stronger negotiating power, and legal representation.
  • Find a home, Make an offer – make your self a guideline of deal breaker items that a home absolutely has to have and a list of compromises that are items you would prefer but you can live with out. If you know these ahead of time you will be able to sort through fresh listings and see homes that are strong contenders.
  • Order a home inspection – The buyer pays for this inspection so account for this expense, depending on the house size and the depth of the inspection budget $350 -$1000. If there are any major issues discovered in this inspection these repairs can be negotiated with the seller
  • Order an appraisal – this is a 3 rd part licensed real estate appraiser that will provide an opinion of value to your lender. Depending on the type of loan and how busy the market is, this process could take weeks.
  • Submit loan to your lender – once the home is appraised, your loan goes to underwriting. Typically this process will require a few ‘conditions’ which are additional documents requested to complete the application process.
  • Shop for home owners insurance – also know as hazard insurance, you should take the time to shop around for the best rate. Typically when you use the same provider for you auto coverage you can get a package deal that can be more competitive than getting separate policies.
  • Receive your approval from you lender- after any conditions are resolved, the loan is now ‘clear to close’
  • Close on your home- make sure your lender has been clear on the closing costs you need to bring to the closing table. Be ready to sign all the required documents and disclosures.
  • Moving costs – make sure you have accounted for all your moving costs and utility transfer fees if that applies. If you have an HOA be prepared for that due date.