The Buying Process

You may have friends or family that can give you the benefit of their experience, unfortunately that also means you may have to listen to one or two "nightmare" stories. The process, with a little bit of work on your part, really should go smoothly if you're educated, prepared and have a professional agent guiding you through it. Here are some basic steps outlining the process.

I'd be happy to discuss it with you - even if you're not ready right now! A lot of people don't know if they're ready or not. It's common that people are renting and don't realize they can feasibly buy something they'd like within their budget. Or they see friends buying and just have no idea how to assess if they can too. See Owning vs. Renting Booklet. This section is geared primarily for the first-time home buyer.


Step 1

Determine your financial capability. This step actually involves multiple actions and is fundamentally important. It helps you assess what price maximum you are financially qualified for and will lead you to focusing your search criteria based on price.

Get your credit score. You can get this from your lender or pull yours yourself. However, you'll need to talk with a lender to find out exactly how your credit score affects your loan ability.

Look at what you can afford on a monthly basis. Look at your budget to determine what you can pay towards your home. If you're paying $1200 in rent now is that the most you can pay towards your home? Is that what you're comfortable with? Would you be able/willing to pay more? How much? Often when you talk with a lender you will be approved for more of a loan than you would actually want. So assessing your own budget is a good idea too.
Talk with a mortgage broker. They will look at your credit score, income and debts to determine what interest rate they will give you and what your maximum loan amount would be. They will also tell you how much closing costs and loan costs to expect. To do a full pre-approval with a lender they will usually need your most recent pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements from you. While a pre-approval isn't necessary upfront, it will often be needed when you make an offer on your home, so it's good to do it right away. I work with one of the very best loan experts in the Treasure Valley and would be happy to give you a referral. Why not take a few minutes to talk with a mortgage broker to see what they can do for you? You may be pleasantly surprised!

Step 2

Choose an agent. It is important to have a professional on your side guiding you through the process from the beginning. I love working with buyers - especially first-time buyers. If you have any questions at all about the buying process, please call or email me. I'd be happy to help!!

Step 3


Select your search criteria. With your maximum price in mind, select the neighborhood, size, bedrooms, bathrooms, quality and characteristics that you desire in a home. Your agent will be able to help you with this. Keep in mind that every purchase of a home involves a certain amount of compromise. When you are working with an agent, it is important that you give your agent a clear idea which of your criteria are flexible and which items you really must have in your new home. Prioritize your need. Sometimes your agent will be able to suggest alternatives that still meet your needs. Make sure you're upfront with your agent so they can use your time and theirs most efficiently and show you only houses that are real possibilities for you. When you've discussed your criteria, your agent will begin searching for a home for you.

Step 4

Look at homes. I'll email you listings as they come available and you let me know if you're interested in any of them. When you are then we go view the inside. As an agent, I have an access key to all houses listed on the MLS so it makes it easy to view properties.

Step 5

The offer. Find the right property and write up an offer to purchase it. I will walk you through the purchase and sale agreement and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each section and each decision you make. I will help you decide what price to offer, how much earnest money to provide, the closing date, as well as other important terms of the contract. Once it's complete the offer may change through negotiations with the seller or they may agree outright. Once the seller signs and returns the offer you have a contract to purchase your home! This is the simplified version. It is certainly more involved and important than that. Buying a home is a major event for both the buyer and seller. The sellers make plans based on your offer that affect their finances, too - sometimes right away before it's even closed. However, it is more important than just money. In the relatively short amount of time it takes to write an offer you are making decisions that affect how you live for the next several years, if not the rest of your life. The seller is going to review your offer carefully, because it also affects how he or she lives the rest of their life. That sounds dramatic. It sounds like a cliché. Every real estate book or article you read says the same thing. They all say it because it is true.


Step 6


Your home inspection occurs if you opted to have one. A professional inspector of your choosing inspects the home, searching for defects or issues. See Purpose of a Home Inspection for more information.  Many times a purchase and sale agreement is contingent on the home "passing" an inspection. I always recommend inspections for your protection - buying a home "as is" is a risky proposition. Sometimes, due to findings in the inspection, the buyer will ask the seller to repair particular things. Some negotiation may take place around this until both parties agree on what improvements will or won't be done to the home to complete the sale. If you need assistance choosing an inspector, I can help.

Step 7

The loan process begins for this particular home as soon as the purchase and sale agreement is signed by both parties. Your lender works in the background to get your mortgage together. They will usually need paperwork from you throughout the process and it's important to stay in communication with them to ensure a smooth closing and no delays.

Step 8

Title also begins working in the background as soon as the purchase and sale agreement is signed by both parties. Title is an independent third party between you and the seller. Their job is to handle deposits, prepare the final settlement statement, arrange legal transfer of the property and release proceeds to the seller. On closing day you will need to meet with Title to sign all the paperwork to transfer the property into your name and secure your mortgage against it. Then closing occurs once the deed is recorded proceeds are available to the seller.


Step 9

Move in!!

Relax. Finding your new home should be a rewarding experience. Have a good time and enjoy the process. I am here to help!!


Here Is A List Of Helpful Tips To Ensure An Effortless Loan Process. These Do’s And Don’t’s Will Help Avoid Any Delays With Your Loan Approval.

DO continue making your mortgage or rent payment

DO stay current on all existing accounts

DO keep working at your current employer

DO keep your same insurance company

DO keep living at your current residence

DO continue to use your credit as normal

DO call us if you have any questions

DON’T make ANY deposits into your bank account(s) other than payroll **

DON’T make any major purchase (furniture, car, boat, jewelry, etc.)

DON’T apply for new credit

DON’T transfer any balances from one account to another

DON’T pay off charge offs without discussing with us first

DON’T pay off collections without discussing with us first

DON’T close any credit card accounts

DON’T max out or over charge your credit card accounts

DON’T consolidate your debt into 1 or 2 credit cards

DON’T take out a new loan

DON’T start any home improvement projects

DON’T finance any elective medical procedure

DON’T open a new cell phone account

DON’T join a new fitness club/gym

DON’T pay off any loan or credit cards without discussing with us first

DON’T pay off any loan or credit cards without discussing with us first

DON’T overdraw your bank account(s)

DON’T voluntarily reduce your work hours

Buyer’s Resources


Kim Hansen
Big River Mortgage
Phone: 208-724-0096

Home Inspection

Brian Blakeley
Intermountain Building Inspections
Phone: 208-901-5188