Home Buyer's Guide
We know buying a house is a big commitment and navigating loan process can be challenging, emotional, and frustrating. Below you will find our best practices to help you know what to expect and make the process as smooth as possible.
Do Your Homework–What Can You Afford?
- How much do you have available for a down payment? If you choose to pay less than 20% down, keep in mind you may have an additional monthly fee for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
- How much monthly payment can you afford (mortgage, taxes, insurance)? Make sure your total house payment fits your personal lifestyle and budgeting habits. Don’t know? Your mortgage lender can help with this!
- What is your credit score? Keep yourself creditworthy. Request and review your credit report and dispute inaccuracies to any nationwide credit agency. Agencies such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion will provide a free report once a year.
- Once you know how much you can afford and how long you plan to be in your home - you’re ready to talk with one of our helpful loan officers for financing. The loan officers will discuss mortgage options with you.
Bank of the Flint Hills makes it easy with an online application process. Once the application is complete, our loan officers will review your financial information and credit score. You’ll have more negotiating power when sellers see that you’re already pre-qualified for a mortgage. Your house-hunting will be more efficient.
Start House Hunting–Finding the Right Home Takes Time
A real estate agent can help you avoid house hunting burnout. They keep you focused on homes that meet your specifications and price range, and guide the negotiation and transaction processes. The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes.
Focus your house hunting efforts: House hunting really begins with a town or neighborhood. You should consider the proximity to your work, distance to shopping, quality of schools, and traffic flow. Distinguish between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”.
Make an offer: You might go back and forth making several offers. Remember to only offer what you’re willing and able to pay.
Begin the loan application process: You’ve been pre-qualified for credit, but now the house and sale have to be approved. After your offer has been accepted, your realtor will contact the title company, and the mortgage application process begins.
Provide the Requested Documentation
Bank of the Flint Hills will ask you to document your personal finances with the following paperwork:
- Pay stubs, tax returns and IRS-W2
- Bank account statements
- Investment and retirement account statements
Your bank will want to make sure the property value matches the purchase price, so documentation about home value, condition, and ownership will be required. A thorough review with an bank ordered, experienced appraiser is necessary for the loan process. And, although not required, a customer ordered home inspection is important to safeguard your home purchase. A title search by the title company will also be completed. Once your paperwork is submitted, your application will be approved, denied or you might be asked to provide more information.
Close Loan and Get Ready to Move
The closing is the completion of the real estate sale and mortgage transaction. Once you are approved for your loan, a closing date will be set and you’ll sign the loan documents. Read these carefully and ask questions if you are unsure. The lender will wire money to the title company, the loan will close, and the deed will be recorded with the county to reflect your new ownership.
What Should You Avoid When Buying a Home?
In addition to our tips on what to do when buying a home, we also have 7 practices to avoid during the home-buying process.
- Don’t change jobs or become self-employed
- Don’t make large purchases without approval from your lender
- Don’t spend money you have saved for your down payment
- Don’t cause any new inquiries on your credit report
- Don’t make any large deposits which you cannot document, if not payroll related
- Don’t take on any additional debt without lender approval
- Communicate, communicate, and communicate with your mortgage lender. If you are unsure about anything, be sure to consistently connect and speak with your mortgage lender.
If you have any questions, talk to one of our loan officers. They are always available to help you. We're here for you as your start the home buying process, and throughout the life of your loan!
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Meet Our Home Loan Officer
Real Estate Loan Officer - NMLS #1481079
Chad brings more than 10 years in the mortgage industry to BFH. Having worked in every area of the mortgage department, his behind the scenes knowledge and loan officer experience give him an advantage to really understand the entire mortgage process and make it relatable to his customers. His favorite part of being a... read more
Chad brings more than 10 years in the mortgage industry to BFH. Having worked in every area of the mortgage department, his behind the scenes knowledge and loan officer experience give him an advantage to really understand the entire mortgage process and make it relatable to his customers. His favorite part of being a loan officer is "seeing the impact we can have for a person or family." When Kansas weather allows, Chad spends as much time outdoors with his family, golfing and attending community events.