Infographic provided by The Sherry Riano Team, a leading FHA loan lender

Embarking on the journey to purchase your first home can be a daunting task but breaking it down into manageable steps can make the process more approachable. Here’s a brief overview of the home buying experience and what you can expect.

It’s crucial to recognize that the timeline from initiation to closing on a house varies depending on market conditions and various factors, spanning from a brisk 15 weeks to a more extended eight months or beyond.

Begin by assessing your financial situation, considering factors such as applying for an FHA loan and evaluating your credit health. Having a clear understanding of these aspects at the outset facilitates securing funding and starting the process on a solid foundation.

Once you’re ready—or if you seek further insights into financial aspects—reach out to a mortgage lender for pre-approval. In today’s seller’s market, possessing a pre-approval letter is pivotal in demonstrating your suitability as a buyer. Additionally, a lender can assist in establishing your initial budget and addressing any loose ends to secure a favorable mortgage rate.

Upon securing approval and enlisting a real estate agent, the next step is to explore available listings. Whether you rely on the realtor’s suggestions or online listings, it’s advisable to refine your search based on parameters like price range and location. Maintaining realistic expectations streamlines the overall process.

Once you’ve identified potential options, schedule property tours. While virtual tours offer convenience, personally assessing the property before committing is essential. When ready to make an offer, be prepared for potential competition. Collaborate with your realtor to negotiate with sellers and navigate contingencies to secure your desired home.

Upon acceptance of your offer, you’ll enter the due diligence period. This involves scheduling a home inspection and appraisal. While these steps can be expedited, they should not be overlooked.

The subsequent underwriting process, which may take days or weeks, involves a thorough review of your finances and property details. Responsiveness to the lender and underwriter is crucial to keep the process moving smoothly.

Finally, the closing phase arrives. Once the loan is finalized, both parties review the deal, a final house walkthrough occurs, and, if everything aligns, the last paperwork is signed, funds are transferred, and you receive the keys to your new home.

For a detailed breakdown of the home buying timeline, explore the accompanying resource to deepen your understanding of the process.

Author bio: With over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, team leader Sherry Riano exudes a deep passion for helping families in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida and Alabama financially obtain their dream home. Ensuring its clients and business partners are top priority, The Sherry Riano Team consistently takes into consideration each customer’s needs and goals to build a lifelong relationship. With a specialized approach to self-employed borrowers, first-time homebuyers, jumbo loans and VA loans, The Sherry Riano Team has knowledgeable advocates for any customer with which it partners.