Buyer's Guide

Thinking about buying a home? There is great advice at REALTOR.com

Below is also a list of advice that will help you in the process! If at any time you have questions about buying a home, please call us at our office (989) 652-3238 and we would be happy to assist you!

Nine steps to buying a home
  1. Figure out how much you can afford
  2. Know your rights
  3. Shop for a loan
  4. Learn about home buying programs
  5. Shop for a home
  6. Make an offer
  7. Get a home inspection
  8. Shop for homeowners insurance
  9. Sign papers

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford

What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment, and the interest rate.

Need help with your down payment and/or closing costs?
Home buying programs in your state

A housing counselor can help you figure out how to manage and pay off your debt, and start saving for that down payment!
Find a housing counselor near you

Step 2: Know your rights

Fair Housing: Equal Opportunity for All - brochure
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
Predatory lending

Step 3: Shop for a loan

Save money by doing your homework. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, negotiate to get a better deal. Consider getting pre-approved for a loan.

Looking for the best mortgage: shop, compare, negotiate - brochure

Step 4: Learn about home buying programs

Home buying programs in your state

FHA loan programs offer lower down payments and are a good option for first-time home buyers.

HUD's special home buying programs
Good Neighbor Next Door Program - for police officers, teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians
Home ownership for public housing residents
Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184)

Step 5: Shop for a home

Call our office! 989-652-3238

Wish list - what features do you want?
Home-shopping checklist - take this list with you when comparing homes
Homes for sale (including HUD homes)
"Fixer-uppers" - home purchase and repair programs

If you choose a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA), be sure to request a copy of the HOA packet, so you can review before closing.

Step 6: Make an offer

Discuss the process with your real estate agent. If the seller counters your offer, you may need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of the sale.

Step 7: Get a home inspection

Make your offer contingent on a home inspection. An inspection will tell you about the condition of the home, and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs.

Ask a home inspector

Step 8: Shop for home owners insurance

Lenders require that you have home owners insurance. Be sure to shop around.

Home owners insurance
12 ways to lower your home owners insurance costs

Step 9: Sign papers

You're finally ready to go to "settlement" or "closing." Be sure to read everything before you sign!

*Information originally from: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/buying_a_home