604 25 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81505
Step 1: Getting Started
The first step to owning your own home is to ask yourself, “Am I ready to be a homeowner?” If you plan to live in the same place for more than two or three years, buying a house is a great way to invest in your family’s future. You need to have a steady job so that you can make your house payments without sacrificing the things that are truly important to you. You also need to be able to save a little money each month because when you own your own house you will have to pay for repairs and upkeep from time to time. The best way to start this process is to meet with a housing counselor or take a homebuyer education class. These services are free, and there is a list of non-profit organizations that can do this for you at the end of this brochure.
Step 2: Finding the Right Lender
Many people only talk to one lender when buying a house, but they may go to several stores to find the best price on a computer or a pair of shoes. You can decide what the best loan is for your particular situation if you compare several different lenders (there are many different kinds of loans, and different lenders will have different fees and interest rates.)
When you meet with a lender, they will “pre qualify” you for a loan. They will ask you how much money you have, how much money you make, and how much money you owe for things like credit card and car payments. They will look at your credit history to find out if you have any open collections, and see if you usually make your payments on time. Based on this information, they will tell you how much money they will lend you. This does NOT mean it is a good idea to borrow the maximum amount unless you are sure you can make the monthly payments, and that the payments will not go up on you. Unfortunately, there are many lenders who will take advantage of people who are buying their first house, so here are a few things to pay attention to when choosing a lender.
Step 3: Working with a Realtor to Find Your New Home
After you and your lender decide how much money you want to borrow, you can begin looking for a house that falls in your price range. Of course, you could try to find a house on your own, but real estate agents specialize in finding just the right house for you, and as the buyer, they work for you at no cost to you (the person selling you the house has to pay their commission.)
Step 4: Processing Your Loan
Now that you have a house under contract, it will usually take about a month to inspect your home, get an appraisal to determine the house’s value, and take care of all the paperwork for your loan. Even though it is not required, it is ALWAYS a good idea to get a home inspection from a licensed inspector. This service will cost you from $150 to $250, but it will be the best money you have ever spent because the last thing you want is to buy a house only to find out that the foundation is unstable or that the roof is caving in.
Step 5: Closing
The big day has finally arrived! You will meet with the seller, the Realtors, and the lender. There will be a whole stack of documents to sign, but your lender should check all of the figures and the title company’s closing agent will explain everything you sign. You will get a letter showing what your monthly payment will be, and then they will hand you the keys to your new home