Home Buyers Guide

Your home is most likely the biggest purchase you're ever going to make, and Family First will work to make the home financing process easy for you. With our six-step process, you will be in your new home before you know it.

Step 1.  Get Prequalified
Obtaining a prequalification might be the most important step in the home buying process. Being prequalified will give you a clear picture of what you can afford. It will also help your Real Estate Agent negotiate better terms, improve your understanding of the mortgage process and prepare you for the home buying and mortgage acquisition process.

Step 2.  Find Your Realtor
Interview, interview, interview. All Realtors are not created equal. As you consider the person that will list and/or represent you in your new home purchase, be choosy. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Ask if they are a full or part time agent
  • Find out how long they’ve been an agent
  • Research how many homes they’ve listed and sold in your immediate area
  • Ask for referrals and call them
  • Do all of this before signing an agreement

Step 3.  Begin Shopping
As you begin your house hunt be sure you have discussed in detail with your agent what you’re looking for. Start with price range, area, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, amenities, acreage etc.  Once you find the home you love, your agent will submit the Purchase Offer and Pre-Qualification letter to negotiate the best price and terms on your behalf.

Step 4.   Apply For Your Mortgage
When your offer has been accepted and approved by all parties, try to schedule your mortgage application appointment as soon as possible. Normally Real Estate contracts are prepared with plenty of time for everyone to make the necessary living arrangements but on occasion the process can be slowed and it is always best to give yourself as much time as possible for your new home loan.  Click here to open up our Mortgage Application Checklist that informs you what you’ll need to bring.

Step 5.  Commitment To Lend
Once Family First has approved your new home loan, you will be issued a commitment letter. Your commitment letter contains important information like any remaining conditions, how we need to be listed on your home insurance policy and who your attorney will contact to arrange for your closing. A copy of the commitment letter is normally sent to everyone involved in your home purchase.

Step 6.  Closing
When your mortgage file has been cleared to close and you have taken your final walk through of the property, all three attorneys (buyer, seller and lender) coordinate schedules to arrange for your closing appointment. Normally your closing will take place at our main office in Penfield, but other arrangements can be made. Your attorney will provide you with the exact amount of money you will need a couple days before closing.  Please keep in mind you must bring certified funds.  When you’re finished (about an hour) you will be given copies of all your documents and the keys to your new home!