My husband and I finally decided to make the "big move" (no pun intended!) and buy a little house that we can call our own. So, without having any prior experience of how a home loan works and what is required, we set out to quickly complete this effortless process... Man, oh man, were we brought back to reality with a bang!?
Getting a home loan is not something you can quickly finalize while having a cup of java! It is quite a long, involved process and can be very overwhelming if you don't know what to expect. Let's have a look at the million and one steps (well, almost!) to obtain a home loan:
(It's actually quite ironic that it takes "lucky 13" steps to acquire a home loan, don't you think?)
Step 1: Find the house you want to buy. Don't laugh - this is not as obvious as it sounds. A lot of people would want to get a general idea of how much they will be able to borrow, before starting the big house hunt. Most home loan companies will however require an offer to purchase or similar document to get the process started.
Step 2: Find a lender. There are many different lender companies available. Chat to friends and family and get recommendations on which companies might be your best option.
Step 3: Fill out a loan application form. This is purely straight forward - just make sure you have all your personal information at hand.
Step 4: Get an idea of costing. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of all the expenses that will be involved with the process - this includes legal fees and transfer fees.
Step 5: Compare costs. Not all home loan companies will offer you an equally good deal.
Step 6: Negotiate costs. If you are not completely satisfied with the deal on offer, see if you can negotiate a better deal. Beg, grovel or threaten if required (just kidding!).
Step 7: Commit to a specific lender and interest rate. Now you are ready for action!
Step 8: Provide the required information. Make sure that you have all the required information - proof of income, proof of expenditure, marriage certificates and all other documentation.
Step 9: Pay any up-front fees. This might be in the form of credit reports or processing fees.
Step 10: Review the loan agreement. Make sure that the loan matches the initial quote you received and that all information, terms and conditions are in order.
Step 11: Sign on the dotted line. No explanation needed here.
Step 12: Make another payment. This is usually in the form of a down-payment and will not always be applicable.
Step 13: Hurry up and wait. The waiting period depends from home loan company to home loan company. Get the champagne on ice in the meantime, so that you are ready to celebrate when you get the good news!
Finding and buying your dream home should not be a stressful process - keep the above steps in mind and you will be fine!
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