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HOMEWISE
Buying a house is a long,
complicated process with
lots of paperwork and
steps. Whether you’re
buying for the first time or
you’ve done it half a dozen
times, the process can get
overwhelming. But there are
plenty of available resources
to enjoy you check all the
boxes, ask the right questions
and end up with a home you
love and can afford.
U.S. News and World
Report released a Guide to
Buying a Home, which walks
homebuyers through what
they need to know when
beginning. Start with people.
You’ll need:
A real estate agent:
Especially for first-time
homebuyers, a real estate
agent is critical to making
homebuying more pleasant
and less stressful. Your agent
has a wealth of knowledge
about questions you should
ask, the timeline, what to

Real Estate Tips and Advice

Buying: What You Need

well as documentation for
any other income or debt you
have. Lenders want to make
sure you have the means to
make your payments.
Finally, you need to know
what you want. Start with
your budget; figure out how
much you can afford to
pay each month, including
insurance, property taxes
and mortgage insurance
and determine how much
you can pay up front for a
down payment. From there,

look for as you’re looking for

A lender:

documents and a credit

consider your needs and

houses and more. He or she

You can start with your

check, all of which can take

also will be your negotiator

own bank or talk to your

time.

with the seller and handle

real estate agent about good

In the way of paperwork,

bedrooms and bathrooms,

all the paperwork. You are

lenders in your area. Find

you’ll need bank statements

whether you want a garage

hiring this person, so look

a lender early, even before

for all of your accounts,

or a big yard or kitchen,

for recommendations from

finding a house; many sellers

including retirement

people you trust and don’t

won’t entertain an offer if it

accounts, for all the people

be afraid to interview a few

doesn’t include pre-approval

whose names will be on the

agents to find someone with

from the buyer’s lender. To

loan. You’ll also need income

the commute to work, and so

whom you trust.

get that, you’ll need several

tax returns and pay stubs, as

on.

wants in a house: number of

what neighborhood or school
district you’d like to live in,

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