7 Steps to Buying a Home

Your Home Buying Checklist

Whether you’re deciding on becoming a homeowner or it’s been a while since you purchased your last home, it helps to have a steady hand guiding you through the many steps to buying a house. That’s where Flagstar Bank comes in. We’ll be with you at every point of the home buying process—all the way to moving day.

Step 1 – Make sure you’re ready.

Be sure to consider both your current situation and your dreams for the future when choosing a potential home. Needs and wants can change over time, and a very important first step in buying a home is deciding what those mean to you.

Step 2 – Prequalification.

Because we understand the importance of finding the right fit, our loan advisors will work with you to ascertain your eligibility by looking at your income, debts, credit history, savings, and more. Prequalification will give you a realistic view of your finances, and help you better determine your ideal price range.

Step 3 – Shop for a new home.

With so many listing websites out there, many prospective buyers choose to go at the housing market alone. However, a good real estate agent can be an excellent partner in the home buying process. Real estate agents have access to listings and resources that the average individual or website may not, and can assist you in negotiating and signing on your new home.

Step 4 – Make an offer and negotiate.

Once you’ve found the perfect home, you’ll make an offer to the seller. Many homebuyers find it helpful to already have an offer number in mind; this can be predetermined with the guidance of your loan advisor and real estate agent. If negotiation is required, your agent can help you find an appropriate vantage point, like home condition or neighborhood value.

Step 5 – Inspection.

When you and the seller reach an agreement, the house will go into escrow, or “pending,” a period in which the house will be off the market. While the home is in escrow, it’s important to arrange for a formal inspection. If there are damages or structural issues within the home, talk to your real estate agent and loan officer. Depending on the problem, you can potentially reopen negotiations with the seller to restructure the deal, or back out entirely.

Step 6 – Loan approval and home appraisal.

A Flagstar loan advisor will work with you to tailor the right mortgage to your personal needs. If you took the steps to get preapproved, you may have a more holistic idea of what this will be. While we’re working to get your new loan ready, we’ll also schedule an appraisal of the home to determine its value.

Step 7 – Close on your new home.

At closing, you’ll sign the final loan paperwork and associated homeowner documents at a title company, then receive your keys. In January 2019, Ellie Mae reported that the average time to close nationally is around 49 days, and can vary based on your approval status.