Home Center Home Education Calculators To Do List Glossary Get Organized This to do list will help you breeze through the home buying process. To Do List 1. Manage your debt. Focus on paying down your debts. Pay your bills on time. Know your credit score. 2. Make sure there’s money in the bank. Experts like to say that you should have at least 20 percent of the home’s purchase price to use as a down payment. Now isn’t the time to go buy that dream car you’ve always wanted. If you have the money for the house, put it toward that instead. 3. Set your budget. No matter what you have saved, buying a house is a big investment. This is long-term stuff we’re dealing with here. There’s more to buying a home than simply mortgage and interest. Think about property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowner association fees, utilities and amenities. 4. Consider how you’ll pay. Think about whether or not you’ll take out a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage. Our loan officers will be happy to help you decide which mortgage loan product is right for you. 5. Think about the length of your loan. It’s not unusual for a homeowner to have a 30-year mortgage or, even better, a 15-year loan. Obviously, the big benefit of a 15-year loan is that it’s a shorter term. However, not everyone can achieve that. Make sure you can handle higher payments, should you need to make them. 6. Collect some paperwork. Review your federal income tax records, recent paycheck stubs, canceled checks for rent or utilities and any other piece of paper a mortgage lender might want to consider. It’s better to search for it now rather than later. 7. Find a location. Be specific. Don’t simply say “east side.” Narrow it down. The sooner you can begin to analyze your desired area, the better. Tax rates vary based on community, which is also important to consider. 8. Trusts — Will the property be a Trust? If so, you must notify us and provide the Trust documents.