10 steps to start the homebuying process

October 11, 2016

It is a great time to buy real estate for many home buyers. Rates are very low and homes remain affordable, although there is competition amongst buyers in many markets. Be ready to go by following these steps.


Here are 10 steps Wisconsin home buyers can take to make buying a home reality:

1. Check your credit report.

Lenders use credit reports to determine your risk factor and how responsible a borrower you are. Be sure to check your report for accuracy and report any errors.

2. Get prequalified for a mortgage.

It makes no sense to begin a home search with no idea how much you will be able to afford and borrow.  That’s what prequalification does – gives you a ballpark idea to guide your search.

3. Get preapproved.

How is that different from prequalification? Preapproval is a letter from the lender stating what they will be willing to lend you. Preapproval can add strength to your offer to purchase.

4. Save your money.

There are some up front costs with buying a home such as a downpayment and closing costs. Plan and save for these. You should also not make large purchases on credit when you are in the buying process – it could affect your credit line in the lender’s eye.

5. Think about what you WANT to spend each month rather than what you CAN spend.

Just because the bank or a mortgage calculator tells you that you can afford X amount a month doesn’t mean you must spend that. Consider what you are comfortable with spending on a monthly mortgage. It may be much less and this is an important thing to consider.

6. What do you need? What do you want?

Now that you know what you can afford, what kind of house do you want? Think about the style, the size, the amenities you think you need – versus the ones you want or would be nice to have. It will be very helpful in your home search to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

7. Where do you want to live?

Very important! It will take a lot of searching if you can’t narrow down your geographic preferences to at least a county or several communities.  Location also affects value. Prices may be less in more rural areas.  What do you want to be near? Schools, shopping, nightlife? A helpful tool First Weber offers on firstweber.com enables you to search around a property to see what the neighborhood offers in terms of parks, schools, shops, restaurants and more. You can also check out communities with our Wisconsin community pages including school data and more.

8. Search for properties We’d love for you to start at firstweber.com where we include listings across Wisconsin – and not just First Weber listings but those from all participating brokers. For convenience, set up a free MyFirstWeber account and enter your search criteria. That way, you’ll always know about new listings matching your criteria, price changes or upcoming open houses: this information is emailed to you if you so choose.

9. Download an app

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10. Find a real estate agent.

Maybe you know an agent, maybe not. You can search for First Weber agents by name, office or speciality. You don’t need to have an agent to ask for more information about a property or request a showing on firstweber.com.  But before you get serious about home buying, talk to your real estate agent about agency/representation. You have choices and many buyers are opting for buyer representation.

So, there you go. Ten tips to get you on the road to homeownership in Wisconsin.  We hope you found this information helpful.

You can see homes currently for sale in your area at FirstWeber.com to get an idea of what homes are priced at in your community. Here’s a preview of all of First Weber’s real estate services.

First Weber sells real estate throughout Wisconsin:Metro Milwaukee and Southeastern WI, South Central Wisconsin/Greater Madison, Southwestern WI, Central Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin, Northeast Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s great Northwoods. You can start searching for Wisconsin real estate and Wisconsin real estate agents at firstweber.com


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