Knowing where to start can be tough when you’re looking to buy a new home. Should you look for the house you want first? When should a real estate agent or loan advisor get involved? What about getting prequalified?

At Armed Forces Bank, we have helped many people through the potentially tricky process of buying a home, and we can help you too. Here’s how to tackle it in five easy steps:

First, you’ll want to complete our online application. It typically takes 20 minutes or less to complete, and it allows us to learn some basic information about the home and your finances, so we can get you in touch with the right loan advisor.

Once you complete the application, one of our loan advisors will contact you to introduce themselves and answer any questions you might have. A mortgage expert, your loan advisor will provide help and guidance all along the way.

If you are purchasing a new home, your loan advisor will also contact the seller or real estate broker so they’ll know who to contact with additional questions.

The key to successful home buying is preparation, and getting prequalified is one of the best ways to find the right home for you. It’s free, will only take a few minutes, and your loan advisor will help you get started.

When you get prequalified, you will:

  • Find out how much house you can afford.
  • Get an estimated monthly payment.
  • Discover which loan options are best for you.
  • Receive a personalized letter of prequalification, which will give you more negotiating power than other buyers because the seller will know you are more prepared to make an offer and get approved for a loan.

Getting prequalified does not commit you to purchasing a specific home, so if you don’t find a home right away, don’t worry! Whenever you are ready to purchase, your loan advisor will simply update your information and guide you through the final steps of the loan process.

Once you get prequalified, you will be better prepared to shop for your home. With your prequalification letter at the ready, you will have an advantage over other buyers who are not prequalified because the seller will know a national bank is backing your financing.

We will send you an application kit containing papers to sign and a list of items we’ll need to verify about the information you provided in the online application. Once completed, we will order the appraisal from a licensed appraiser who will be familiar with the home values in your area. Different types of appraisals are used, depending on the loan amount requested and your finances. Sometimes the appraiser is able to do their evaluation from the street; other times they may need to view the home.

Whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, title insurance will be required. If you are purchasing, we will work with the seller or real estate broker to ensure the title work is ordered as soon as possible. If you are refinancing, we will order the title work for you. We will use the title insurance policy to confirm the legal status of your property and to prepare any closing documents.

Once we receive your application kit, appraisal, and title work, we will contact you to schedule your loan closing. If you are purchasing a home, we will also schedule the closing with the seller and real estate broker.

The closing will take place at your home or at the office of a title company or attorney in your area who will act as our agent. A few days before closing, your loan advisor will contact you and walk through the final information.

That’s it! Apply now and you’ll be on your way to an easy home loan with a loan advisor who will be there to help you the entire way.