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Our 1st Home-Hunting : The Checklist

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

  Thank you Capital One Home Loans for sponsoring this post. This is a paid endorsement. To learn more about how Capital One Home Loans tools can help simplify your home-buying process, visit CapitalOneSmartHomeLoans.com.

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It's been more than a year since we moved here, and I must say, I have fallen more and more in love with the whole DFW metroplex.  I love the community we're a part of, the good friends we've made, and  how conservative principles and modern lifestyles could blend so perfectly here. So as the year 2015 comes to its end, we figured that it's time for us to think about settling here for real, and by 'for real' I mean, owning a house-real.

     Now just like any other important things in life that we'd like to achieve, buying a house requires a thorough and careful preparation, especially because we are first time home buyers! Thankfully, with the help of my financially savvy husband, I have learned that this whole process does not have to be complicated. You can start by putting together a checklist that consists of these 3 things :

1. Research

In any new journey, having a roadmap is highly crucial in order to know where you're going and what to expect. As a family with no home-buying experience, we find Capital One Home Loans "What to Expect Brochure to be very helpful to start our research with. Informations on everything from down-payments, housing affordability, credit score, getting pre-qualified for a loan, to closing phase could all be found in this brochure. And don't worry! You won't have to go through any legal dictionary because Capital One uses simplified language that we could understand.

   With this understanding in mind, we could now begin calculating our base target price and filter out houses that are way over our budget.

2. Budget

Capital One gave us a great tool. We used the Capital One Home Loans Mortgage Loan Calculator to help determine the monthly payments and somehow project the budget when we have closed on the home.

   The tool helps us by giving an approximation based on how much down payment, the credit score, tax rate are while giving an approximation for insurance payment per month as well based on the zip code. For our case, since Texas is a no state-income tax state, homeowners will pay homeowner’s association fees (HOA) which we can easily get online or by calling the municipality office for help.

   Now, just because the price range is within our budget, doesn’t necessarily justify the decision to purchase. That's where the next step comes in.

3. Evaluate

A cheap home in an unsafe neighborhood with bad school district is, in our view, more costly than a more pricy home in a safe neighborhood with good school district.

   So evaluate your budget, revisit the potential neighborhoods, read the school district reviews and ask around.

4. Execute

Now it's time to get pre-qualified! With our crazy schedules, this whole process sounded complicated until we found out that Capital One Home Loans has launched a completely reimagined, personal and digital home loans experience which allows us to pre-qualify for a home loan in minutes from any device! So you can apply online, upload documents and digitally track progress from application to closing anytime, anywhere.

  

Once we’re pre-qualified, Mr. Man and I just have follow through with the closing phase which would be our champagne-popping moment ;)

      With the help of Capital One, we don't just look forward to it, we look forward to it with great confidence. Oh this got me so excited to save up and see what our first home-buying experience would be like! Wish us luck!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.