Homebuyer Guide

From questions to confidence

Simple tools and advice to help you feel at home while buying one.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, this guide can help you through the mortgage process. It will help make your home buying experience much easier.


The Define Realty Homebuyer Guide offers everything you need to know as you prepare to buy a home and will help you:

  • Understand your costs upfront

  • Determine a price range that’s realistic and comfortable for you

  • Know more about how a real estate agent can help you

  • Learn how your credit score can impact your loan

  • Identify the paperwork you need for a smooth loan process

Five Key Questions:

As you prepare to buy a home, this guide will help you answer these important questions.


1. Am I ready to buy it? 

The first step in buying a home is making sure you understand the homebuying process.


2. What do I need to know before I apply for a loan? 

Feel confident that you’re making the right choice.


3. What do I need to do before I start shopping for a home? 

Learn what you can do to get a head start.


4. How do I go about finding the perfect home and making an offer? 

Know what you want in your future home and how to find it.


5. What do I do after my offer is accepted? 

Make sure the final stretch goes smoothly, so you get your new home with minimal stress.

Think about whether you’re ready to own a home. 

Determine if you are ready to apply for a mortgage loan.

To get the best rates and the best results from lenders, you have to meet certain requirements. Review what those requirements are and how well you might meet them. 

Am I ready to buy?

Compare owning vs. renting.

There are advantages to owning a home, but there are also disadvantages. Decide if owning or renting is the right choice for you. 


Understand the costs of homeownership.

From one-time fees and closing costs to monthly and annual expenses, there are a lot of costs homeowners face that renters don’t. 


Your credit rating is important.

Banks will use your credit rating to decide whether to lend you money and how much to lend. See how the credit bureaus rate you and what you can do to boost your score.

Before you start looking for a house, ask yourself: 


Are you comfortable with what you can afford?

If you can’t afford to buy in a certain neighborhood where you want to live, or if you’ll face a significantly longer commute from the places you can afford to live, it may make more sense to continue renting. 


Do you have a reserve of cash saved?

You’ll need money for your down payment, and you may be responsible for closing costs on the loan. You’ll also face new costs in addition to your mortgage payment. If you have limited savings, it may make sense to continue a lower cost living arrangement until you can save more. 


How financially stable are you?

If there’s a chance you could be laid off soon, or if your job requires you to move to a different city in the near future, buying may not be the best choice for you right now.


Do you have good credit? 

If you have recently missed payments or maxed out your credit cards, you may consider waiting to purchase a home until your credit improves so you can qualify for a lower interest rate.