Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
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March 9, 2023

Ready to Own Your Home? Six Steps to Buying a Home

Buying a home is serious work. It’s not like you can just walk into a store and pick one off the shelf. The process is involved, and there’s no express lane. But you can save yourself a lot of headaches, hassles, money and time by doing your homework before you go looking for a home. The homebuying process can be broken down into six primary steps — from preparing your finances to closing.

1. Prepare your finances.

Start by saving up for the down payment and closing costs. The amount you need will vary depending on the type of mortgage and the purchase price of the home, but usually, you’ll need at least $5,000 to $10,000 to cover a down payment, upfront fees and closing costs. While you’re saving, make sure to watch your credit score. A better score gets you a lower rate on your loan, and that can save you thousands over time. Working to improve your credit? Learn more about getting your credit ready for a mortgage.

Have you looked at your credit report lately? You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report yearly from each of the three major credit bureaus at

2. Get preapproved for financing.

The next important step to buying a home is getting preapproved for financing. There a many different types of mortgages. Finding out how much financing you qualify for will inform your budget during your home search. You’ll want to get pre-approved for financing before viewing homes, especially in a competitive housing market where things can move quickly. Not sure where to start? Our Real Estate Loan Officers can help you find out how much financing you qualify for and explain your home loan options.

3. Find a real estate agent and go house hunting.

When choosing a real estate agent to help you along your homebuying journey, seek recommendations from friends and read reviews online to identify local agents near you. We recommend interviewing a few people before choosing someone you can trust to represent your interests. You’ll be working with this person to make one of life’s most important purchases, so it’s important to find someone professional, honest and effective. Next? The fun part — checking out homes in person. Your real estate agent will guide you so you can find a home that’s a great fit.

4. Make an offer.

When you find a home you love, you’re ready to place an offer. That’s the time to be fair, level-headed and open with your real estate agent, who’ll handle the paperwork. You’ll review and sign the offer contract, then your real estate agent will submit the offer contract and handle communication with the seller’s real estate agent. Seller accepts? One more step before closing!

5. Have the home appraised and inspected.

Your lender will send an appraiser out to the home to ensure the price reflects its real market value before giving final approval on your financing. This keeps both the buyer and the lender safe from overpaying for a home.

You’ll also have the right to complete a home inspection during a specific period, commonly five to seven days, as agreed in your offer contract. Enlist the help of a reputable home inspector and thoroughly review the inspection results. You’ll never regret getting a home inspected, but many people have regretted skipping the inspection when they end up with surprise termites (or worse). Don’t skip the inspection!

6. Close on your new home!

The last step of buying a home takes place at the office of the title company. At closing, you’ll sign all the paperwork to finalize the sale. (Before you send money, make sure you know how to watch out for wire transfer fraud, an increasingly common scam facing homebuyers.) Depending on the complexity of the sale, you can typically expect to be at the title company for around an hour or two. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’ll officially be a homeowner!

Ready to own your home?

When you’re ready to get started, our professional Real Estate Loan Officers are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about mortgage options at Grow.

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Subject to credit approval. Grow Financial mortgage loans are valid for the purchase or refinance of owner-occupied residential properties in the states of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee including single-family detached, condominiums and townhomes. Not valid for the purchase of investment properties. Grow Financial mortgage loan rates are updated daily and available at

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