Homeowner Education

Buying a new home is an exciting experience that can be intimidating.
We are
here to help!

Homeowner education

How to purchase a home

Buying a new home is an exciting experience that can be intimidating. With Home Team’s guidance every step of the way, it doesn’t have to be! The advantage of our process is that you have an entire team with you before, during, and after your home buying experience. Let’s take a quick look at the roadmap to home ownership. Don’t worry – we’re here at any time to talk you through it and answer any questions you may have.

The Home-buying Process

1Home ownership starts at the first thought of buying your new home.

So you’re considering buying a house. Here’s a few reasons people make the switch from renting to owning:

  • I just want my own place
  • I think I can pay the same amount (or less) for a mortgage as I do in rent
  • A home is an investment and I want to start building equity
  • I’m starting a family and I need the space and stability
  • I want [Insert your own dream feature here]

From a practical standpoint, here’s a few financial reasons to buy vs. rent:

  1. You can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your tax return
  2. Home equity can be one the largest asset people have
  3. Historically, homes have proven to appreciate over time

Bonus: Tax credits for first timers!

3What’s Next?
Understand your credit.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for your home, you can go right through this stop sign. For most people, credit standing is important to buying a home. Home Team offers great options for buying a home even if your credit history isn’t as great as you’d like. Improved credit also opens more options for loans and improves purchasing power. There are two main factors for what your credit will allow you to buy:

  1. Your credit history.
  2. The home you want.

5Am I Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?
An Important Question

Pre-qualifying shows you how much you can afford to spend on a home. This information helps you select a home that will make sense for you financially. A pre-qualification is helpful in giving you a rough estimate of what your down payment will be and a range that your monthly payment will fall into. Having this document from a lending institution also ensures your purchase offers get serious consideration rather than disregarded. The good news is, getting your pre-qualification only takes a few minutes of your time and we can do it for you right now.

Receiving Pre-Approval means you can receive the actual loan amount that was provided to you! Of course, our finance department may require a few documents, but with a pre-approval you can move from finding your home to owning it relatively fast compared to just having a pre-approval. Our finance team members are here to walk your through any questions and every step of the loan process.

7Home Buying,
Made Easy

You have made an offer on the home you want. Now it’s time to utilize your real estate team. Your Home Team Realtor will be very helpful to you at this stage, as will your Finance Officer. Their jobs are to make your life easy and protect you. Your loan officer will walk you through document collection and keep you updated on the underwriting process, while your Home Team Realtor is there to assist you with scheduling inspections and answering any question you may have about the house that is going to be your home!

You have rights as a home buyer. The Fair Housing Act protects you as you shop for a home or a loan. Home Team is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. Our Realtors and our Finance Officers make sure you are not being discriminated or taken advantage of. However, if you ever feel that your rights are being violated, you can contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777.

9What is Closing?
The Final Step!

This is the fun part – closing! You and the other key people involved will all be present to confirm all the final details, sign the finalized papers, and complete the change of ownership to you. Typically, at the closing table you will see your title agent, your Home Team Realtor, your Home Team Finance Officer, Seller, Seller’s Realtor, and of course YOU and any loved ones you brought with you to share this experience.

2Where Should You Start? Look at
Your Finances.

Understanding your financial picture is a critical component of homeownership success. A good budget will help you understand where your money goes, recognize opportunities to increase your means, control impulse and unnecessary spending, save money, and protect you and your family against tragedy. Life happens, but if you plan for it, it doesn’t have to ruin your financial future.

4Our team is here to set
YOU up for success!

Your credit score is determined by some of these factors above and a few others. The credit bureaus use a formula to turn all this information into one number to make things easy for you and lenders. Scores range from 300 to 850. A “good score” varies by lender but typically you’re going to want at least a 580 score for a mortgage and the higher the score, the better. Home Team offers special programs for you if you’re not quite there yet, so don’t give up on your home ownership dream just because of a number!

6How Do I Choose a Home? Let Your Home Team Realtor Help

You’ve done the hard parts and now it’s time to pick the home you want! To get what you want, it’s important to know what you want. You probably have some ideas and your Home Team Realtor can fill in any blanks or answer any questions you may have. Or if you’re not sure, he or she can help you determine what might make sense for you and your family.

Remember, your Home Team Realtor can do all or most of this searching and comparing for you! Our real estate professionals know the market well and make this easy for you, saving you countless hours of time and frustration. This process should be fun and exciting rather than grueling.

8What Loan Should I Choose? Let Your Home Team Finance Officer Help

With so many different loan products out there, it’s important that you have a licensed professional to guide you through the maze. Your Home Team Finance Officer will be with you every step of the way. Once your loan is approved you are ready to set a date and time for closing!

10Welcome to Home Ownership

Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy this moment.
Congratulations, you now own your home!

You have rights as a home buyer. The Fair Housing Act protects you as you shop for a home or a loan. Home Team is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. Our Realtors and our Finance Officers make sure you are not being discriminated or taken advantage of. However, if you ever feel that your rights are being violated, you can contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777.

1Home ownership starts at the first thought of buying your new home.

So you’re considering buying a house. Here’s a few reasons people make the switch from renting to owning:

  • I just want my own place
  • I think I can pay the same amount (or less) for a mortgage as I do in rent
  • A home is an investment and I want to start building equity
  • I’m starting a family and I need the space and stability
  • I want [Insert your own dream feature here]

From a practical standpoint, here’s a few financial reasons to buy vs. rent:

  1. You can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your tax return
  2. Home equity can be one the largest asset people have
  3. Historically, homes have proven to appreciate over time

Bonus: Tax credits for first timers!

2Where Should You Start? Look at
Your Finances.

Understanding your financial picture is a critical component of homeownership success. A good budget will help you understand where your money goes, recognize opportunities to increase your means, control impulse and unnecessary spending, save money, and protect you and your family against tragedy. Life happens, but if you plan for it, it doesn’t have to ruin your financial future.

3What’s Next?
Understand your credit.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for your home, you can go right through this stop sign. For most people, credit standing is important to buying a home. Home Team offers great options for buying a home even if your credit history isn’t as great as you’d like. Improved credit also opens more options for loans and improves purchasing power. There are two main factors for what your credit will allow you to buy:

  1. Your credit history.
  2. The home you want.

4Our team is here to set
YOU up for success!

Your credit score is determined by some of these factors above and a few others. The credit bureaus use a formula to turn all this information into one number to make things easy for you and lenders. Scores range from 300 to 850. A “good score” varies by lender but typically you’re going to want at least a 580 score for a mortgage and the higher the score, the better. Home Team offers special programs for you if you’re not quite there yet, so don’t give up on your home ownership dream just because of a number!

5Am I Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?
An Important Question

Pre-qualifying shows you how much you can afford to spend on a home. This information helps you select a home that will make sense for you financially. A pre-qualification is helpful in giving you a rough estimate of what your down payment will be and a range that your monthly payment will fall into. Having this document from a lending institution also ensures your purchase offers get serious consideration rather than disregarded. The good news is, getting your pre-qualification only takes a few minutes of your time and we can do it for you right now.

Receiving Pre-Approval means you can receive the actual loan amount that was provided to you! Of course, our finance department may require a few documents, but with a pre-approval you can move from finding your home to owning it relatively fast compared to just having a pre-approval. Our finance team members are here to walk your through any questions and every step of the loan process.

6How Do I Choose a Home? Let Your Home Team Realtor Help

You’ve done the hard parts and now it’s time to pick the home you want! To get what you want, it’s important to know what you want. You probably have some ideas and your Home Team Realtor can fill in any blanks or answer any questions you may have. Or if you’re not sure, he or she can help you determine what might make sense for you and your family.

Remember, your Home Team Realtor can do all or most of this searching and comparing for you! Our real estate professionals know the market well and make this easy for you, saving you countless hours of time and frustration. This process should be fun and exciting rather than grueling.

7Home Buying,
Made Easy

You have made an offer on the home you want. Now it’s time to utilize your real estate team. Your Home Team Realtor will be very helpful to you at this stage, as will your Finance Officer. Their jobs are to make your life easy and protect you. Your loan officer will walk you through document collection and keep you updated on the underwriting process, while your Home Team Realtor is there to assist you with scheduling inspections and answering any question you may have about the house that is going to be your home!

You have rights as a home buyer. The Fair Housing Act protects you as you shop for a home or a loan. Home Team is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. Our Realtors and our Finance Officers make sure you are not being discriminated or taken advantage of. However, if you ever feel that your rights are being violated, you can contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777.

8What Loan Should I Choose? Let Your Home Team Finance Officer Help

With so many different loan products out there, it’s important that you have a licensed professional to guide you through the maze. Your Home Team Finance Officer will be with you every step of the way. Once your loan is approved you are ready to set a date and time for closing!

9What is Closing?
The Final Step!

This is the fun part – closing! You and the other key people involved will all be present to confirm all the final details, sign the finalized papers, and complete the change of ownership to you. Typically, at the closing table you will see your title agent, your Home Team Realtor, your Home Team Finance Officer, Seller, Seller’s Realtor, and of course YOU and any loved ones you brought with you to share this experience.

10Welcome to Home Ownership

Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy this moment.
Congratulations, you now own your home!

You have rights as a home buyer. The Fair Housing Act protects you as you shop for a home or a loan. Home Team is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. Our Realtors and our Finance Officers make sure you are not being discriminated or taken advantage of. However, if you ever feel that your rights are being violated, you can contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777.

Have you recently purchase a home? Take our quiz below to see how well you know your new home!

Homeowner Education

How well do you know your home?

  • 1Where is the main water shut off for the house?
  • 2Where is the main cleanout plug for the plumbing system?
  • 3Where is the water heater; is it electric or gas?
  • 4Where is the circuit breaker box and are they identified?
  • 5Does the home have an attic; where is the access door?
  • 6Does the home have a sump pump in the basement?
  • 7Where are/How many smoke detectors do you have?

Seasonal Checklist

Spring

  • Clean all rain gutters and downspouts; repair if necessary.
  • Clean and repair window screens
  • Clean debris from roof and check for damage; repair if necessary.
  • Clean lint from clothes dryer’s exhaust pipe.
  • Lubricate all exterior hinges on gates, garage door tracks and locks.

Summer

  • Change AC and heating filter system
  • Check for loose railings or damage to porches; repair if necessary.
  • Inspect fencing and gates for damage; repair if necessary.
  • Scrape any loose paint from siding and wood trim; then prime and paint.
  • Clean all windows inside and out.

Fall

  • Clean and inspect gutters/downspouts; repair if necessary.
  • Caulk all cracks on exterior of home.
  • Drain and flush water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check all weather-stripping on doors and windows; replace if damaged.

Winter

  • Clean and inspect gutters/downspouts; repair if necessary.
  • Caulk all cracks on exterior of home.
  • Drain and flush water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check all weather-stripping on doors and windows; replace if damaged.