When debating between renting vs. buying, you need to think about your lifestyle and finances. While renting can provide more flexibility, owning a home enables you to build equity in the property and may provide tax benefits.
Buying a home is a huge step, especially when you’re moving from renting to owning.
Here are some steps to help you prepare to buy your first home:
Pay attention to (and improve) your credit score
Use our Affordability Calculator to see how much home you can afford
Save money for a down payment
Save for additional home buying costs (inspections, insurance, deposits, etc.)
Get prequalified for a mortgage loan
Find a Home Lending Advisor
Find a real estate agent
Start looking for homes!
A prequalification gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow based on your income, employment, credit and bank account information. To be sure you’re getting the best deal, talk with multiple lenders and compare their mortgage rates and loan options.
Whether you're looking for a single-family home or a penthouse apartment, understanding your wants and needs is essential.
Once you know what you want out of a home, determining your housing budget is crucial. After working up a loose housing budget, you'll need to decide how much you'll be comfortable paying each month. Your real estate agent will help you find the right home based on all of these factors. Looking for more information? Read our guide on "How to Find the Perfect Home!"
Buying a home is a major decision, so take time to find a real estate agent that's best for you. An experienced real estate agent can make your homebuying process a smooth one by helping you find the right house and negotiating the right price. You can ask for recommendations from family, friends, your Home Lending Advisor or other people whose opinions you value. Be sure to interview several agents and research them online before choosing one.
At Chase, you can choose from several types of mortgage loans to finance your home purchase. A Home Lending Advisor can help you understand the differences between the various loan options so you find one that best suits your financial situation.
There is no set amount. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that many first-time homebuyer programs require as little as 3.0% down. Today, there are many loan programs that can be tailored to fit your needs and financial resources. Keep in mind that for down payments of less than 20% on conventional loans, private mortgage insurance (PMI) will be required. Go to Chase Affordable Lending to learn more.
Traditional loans usually require documents that verify your employment, income and assets, and may include:
Your Social Security number
Pay stubs for the last two months
W-2 forms for the past two years
Bank statements for the past two or three months
One to two years of federal tax returns
A signed contract of sale (if you've already chosen your new home)
Information on current debt, including car loans, student loans and credit cards
To find the perfect Home Lending Advisor (HLA) for you:
Once you enter your location or a specific last name, you'll get a list of Home Lending Advisors in your area. Every HLA listing includes their location, NMLS ID#, phone number, and a link to their profile page.
If you're interested in learning more about a specific HLA, click "go to (name)'s page".
Each HLA’s profile page will tell you how many years of experience they have, full contact information, and, oftentimes, a short bio. This information should give you a good sense of each advisor so you can easily make your decision.
Your Home Lending Advisor can help you find providers that offer online homebuyer education courses, many of which may be free. You can also get a list of HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in your area by calling 1-800-569-4287. Or, to search online, go to HUD.gov, enter "counseling agencies" in the search bar, then sort by your city, state or zip code and choose "Send."