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Buy A Home

Home Purchase Checklist

Buying a home should be an exciting time in your life. We’ve prepared this checklist of what’s involved to help you enjoy it and get you more comfortable with the entire experience.

For more information, or to get your homebuying process started by applying for a loan pre-approval decision, call an experienced PHH Mortgage loan consultant at (800) 210-8849.

    ✓   Analyze the decision
    ✓   Determine how much you can afford
    ✓   Organize your personal information
    ✓   Apply for a pre-approval decision
    ✓   Find a licensed real estate agent
    ✓   Search for a home and research areas of interest
    ✓   Visit selected homes
    ✓   Make an offer on the home you want
    ✓   Arrange financing
    ✓   Schedule a home inspection
    ✓   Prepare for closing

Analyze the decision

  • Consider the recurring expenses involved, including taxes, homeowners’ insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and utilities.
  • Consider the responsibilities of home ownership, including routine maintenance, both inside and outside of the house.
  • If you are an existing homeowner, consider any costs involved with selling your current home, including costs to make repairs.

Determine how much you can afford

  • Consider all one-time costs involved with purchasing a new home, including such up-front costs as the down payment (which can be larger with some mortgage products) and closing costs.
  • Estimate the monthly mortgage payment.
  • Include in your estimates other costs, such as taxes and maintenance, insurance and any applicable association fees.

For help determining how much you can afford, call an experienced PHH Mortgage loan consultant at (800) 210-8849.

Organize your personal information

  • Check your credit report for any errors in need of correction.
  • Gather documents, such as financial statements and tax forms.
  • Pull together other documents, including:
    • names, addresses and Social Security numbers of all applicants,
    • contact information for your current landlord or your current mortgage company,
    • a HUD-1 settlement statement on the property you are selling, if applicable,
    • pay stubs and current employer information,
    • the value of your assets and
    • the source of your down payment and closing costs.

Apply for a pre-approval decision

  • The pre-approval process will help determine how much home you can afford. Additionally, it demonstrates to sellers that you're a qualified buyer and gives you the confidence to negotiate and even make an offer.
  • Apply for a loan pre-approval decision by calling (800) 210-8849, or get started online. Our experienced loan consultants may be able to give you a pre-approval decision in as little as one business day.1

Find a licensed real estate agent

  • Real estate agents specialize in a variety of areas, so be sure to choose one who you feel best aligns with your personal goals and needs.
  • An agent who knows a specific area well and has longtime local ties may be able to share knowledge you can use.
  • If you have rented over the years and had a good experience with the rental agency, this might be a good first place to look for your real estate agent.

Search for a home and research areas of interest

  • Research properties online to get an idea of the homes available within your price range.
  • Walk or drive around areas that interest you to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Many sellers post physical “for sale” signs, so it can be valuable to keep an eye out on your tour.
  • Visit your preferred neighborhoods at different times of the day and on different days of the week to observe patterns of noise and traffic.
  • Research online and talk to your real estate agent for information on neighborhoods, crime rates, schools and other demographic information important in your search for a home.
  • Follow the local news to learn about new developments and emerging community issues that could affect your purchase or property values.

Visit selected homes

  • Take your time. Carefully examine both the interior and exterior of each home you consider. If you’re seriously interested, you may want to visit more than once and take pictures for future reference and comparison.
  • Compare the prices of similar homes in the surrounding area. Your real estate agent can supply you with a list of comparable properties.
  • Be prepared to act fast if the market is competitive. A pre-approval decision letter can help you expedite the process and make a timely offer on the home you want, and may give you an advantage over other buyers. To learn more about pre-approval, call an experienced PHH Mortgage loan consultant at (800) 210-8849.

Make an offer on the home you want

  • Before deciding on your offer amount, consider such important factors as the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections, time restrictions and more.
  • Consult with your real estate agent for professional input on the amount you want to offer, along with other details of this potentially legally binding offer.
  • Make sure your offer includes provisions for a home inspection and the actions to take if problems arise.

Arrange financing

  • Call your PHH Mortgage loan consultant with the property address and discuss the options for rates, terms, points and other details about loan programs for which you may qualify.  
  • Sign the necessary application documents. Your PHH Mortgage loan consultant can guide you through the process.

Schedule a home inspection

  • Ask your real estate agent to help you find a reputable, professional home inspector and schedule the inspection.
  • Arrange to be present during the inspection, as it is an ideal opportunity to ask important questions about the property.

Prepare for a closing

  • Make sure your closing date is scheduled prior to any rate lock-in expirations on your mortgage loan.
  • Arrange for your real estate agent or attorney to accompany you to closing to help ensure that all tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
  • Check with your closing agent to confirm the amount of certified funds you will need to prepare via a cashier's check or money order.
  • If you’re using cash from the sale of your current home, be sure to schedule the closing of your current property prior to closing on your new home.
  • Arrange for your spouse or any other party required to sign closing documents to be present.
  • Prepare to spend up to four hours in case issues arise (though closing normally takes about an hour). Alert employers and childcare providers accordingly.
  • Bring along a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Arrange to have utilities turned on once you take possession of your new home.

Call with questions and get answers

If you have any questions about closing or any aspect of purchasing a home, contact one of our experienced PHH Mortgage loan consultants at (800) 210-8849.

1 This is not a commitment to lend. All pre-approval requests or applications are subject to complete underwriting review.

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