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Home Buying Guide, Mortgage Approval Process, Purchase Cost, Features, Bedrooms, Lot Size, Location, Special Needs

Home Buying Guide - Indianapolis IN Area
Home > Home Buying Guide

Buying a home is an exciting but often overwhelming experience, particularly if you are buying your first home. As your REALTOR, we can help you through the home buying process and assure that you find the right home, at the right price for you.

Every homebuyer has a number of concerns, all of which we can help you with:

Setting a Time Frame

There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new home variess too.

A typical home search process may take three to four months, including:

  • The mortgage approval process. This loan process typically takes 30-45 days.
  • Comparing and evaluating properties
  • Making an offer
  • The closing process

The Lending Process

Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a home is the mortgage approval process. We'll be here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the loan approval process smoother:

  • Make sure your budget is under control. Start to make a list of all your monthly expenses, compare it with your income, and see if adjustments need to be made.
  • Pay off small credit card balances.
  • Start gathering documents you may need, such as:
    • W-2 forms
    • Income tax returns for the past few years
    • Pay stubs
    • Records of child support or alimony
    • Bank statements for the past several months
    • A recent copy of your credit report
  • Also, be sure to allow for closing costs.
  • Get several loan offers. This will allow you to compare loans and get the best deal.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

A general guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. For example,

  • Someone earning $50,000 a year might purchase a home for $75,000 to $125,000.
  • Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process
  • Total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income.

Finding a Home That Meets Your Needs and Wants

Before you start looking at properties, make a list of "must-have" features along with optional features you'd like to have.

"Must-have" features may include:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need to accommodate your family
  • Location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.)
  • Lot size
  • Special needs (handicapped access, etc.).

Optional features may include:

  • Architectural styling
  • Bay windows
  • Landscaping
  • Etc.

Read Wants vs. Needs for more information.

If you can develop a clear idea of what you want in your new home, it will help me, your REALTOR, find the perfect property for you and your family.

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