A guide for first time home buyers in Wisconsin

March 22, 2016

You’ve decided that now is the time to become a homebuyer in Wisconsin. Rents are rising, interest rates are low, you’re ready to settle down in one spot for a while, saved up for a downpayment, are financially secure with a steady job.  Now that you have that foundation, where do you really start?


First and foremost this year: move very quickly. It is likely you will have competition for the house you want.


1. Know what you can afford. Here are  several calculators to try.

2. Determine how much you can put down as a downpayment

3. See a mortgage loan officer in Wisconsin to discuss your mortgage options and get preapproved.

4. Learn about the various loan types: arm (adjustable rate), fixed, among others, and research interest rates.

6. Decide what you want in a home: size, bedrooms, baths, single family or condo?

7. Narrow down your locations. Pick a county, a few cities/towns.  Consider your commute time.   Review Wisconsin communities.

8. Start searching for your home, based on all the above, online (try firstweber.com) or contact a real estate agent to do the searching for you – First Weber agents are able to send you new listings via email so you see the newest listings as soon as possible. An agent can work with you as a buyer’s agent if you desire.  Learn about Wisconsin buyer agency with First Weber.

9. Hopefully, your online searches in the area and criteria you’ve decided to check out match up with what you can afford.  You may need to expand your search if the home you are searching for is not available – or adjust your search standards.

10. Don’t depend on online listings only.  You must see properties in person for a full picture. Attend open houses, have your agent set private showings for a personal tour.

11.When you find the right house, it should be obvious to you. Sit down and write an Offer to Purchase with your agent. Determine any contingencies you will need and any inspections you will want done. A home inspection is a must. Your Wisconsin real estate agent will walk you through the offer step by step. Know that the seller has 3 choices with every offer: Accept, reject or make a counter offer in which some of the terms of the offer are modified.  You, too, can then accept, reject or make your counter offer to the counter offer.

12. Once both parties come to an agreement, much more goes on:  An appraisal, home inspection, arranging for home insurance, completion of the loan process with the lender and doing a final walk through before closing, among other things.

13. Prepare for closing. You must have proof of homeowners insurance and you’ll need your downpayment/closing costs. Find out the amount you’ll need to bring to closing and get a cashier’s check.

14.  At closing, paperwork will be explained to you and you’ll have to sign numerous documents. At the end of a successful closing, you are given the keys to your new house.

15. Move in and unpack! You can now enjoy personalizing your own space and becoming a proud homeowner.



Buying a home is not a simple 15 step process – most of the steps above are actually multi-item processes. This post is meant to provide a guideline or a checklist for home buyers new to the homebuying process so they know where to start on their home buying journey and what happens as things move along. Your real estate agent will guide you through it all until you are finally a homeowner in Wisconsin.  Happy clients and customers are what real estate agents are after – they’d like you to spread good news about their services and earn your business the next time it is time to buy or sell real estate in Wisconsin. If your real estate agent did a good job for you, let your friends know!


Thank you for reading the First Weber Wisconsin real estate & Wisconsin living blog for information on the home buying process and a 15 step homebuyer checklist.  To search for Wisconsin real estate, please seefirstweber.com



Subscribe via email for blog updates