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Homebuyer Tools

This page will give you a step-up on the homebuying process. Explore the tools below to learn what to expect from your homebuying experience.
  1. Affordable home finance programs
  2. Homebuyer education classes, online and in-person
  3. How much can I afford to buy?
  4. What will my payment be?
  5. Steps to homeownership
    1. When evaluating how much you can afford, remember that a mortgage payment is more than just the principal and interest; you will also have to pay for property taxes, homeowner's insurance, possibly homeowner association dues, and/or mortgage insurance. You should also have money for down payment and closing costs.
    2. Through these free classes, you'll gain insight into selecting a real estate agent and lender, financing a home, choosing a mortgage, and understanding loan terms. You will also discover what to expect at the closing, budgeting practices, and how to be a successful homeowner. To learn about free CHFA U homebuyer education courses, please visit our website
    3. Contact a lender in your area to obtain loan pre-approval. Seek out lenders who are licensed or who are employees of an FDIC lender. CHFA has participating lenders across the state who are licensed or FDIC lenders. The lender will analyze your monthly income, credit history, and debt level to determine how large a mortgage you can receive.
    4. It's important to list the features and benefits you want in a home. Consider such things as price, location, size, amenities, and design. Next, consider your priorities. Also, consider your needs in several years and purchase accordingly.
    5. You may use a real estate agent of your choice or purchase a home without one. However, a real estate agent can help negotiate the sales price, explain the terms of the purchase contract, and guide you through the entire real estate process. This can include home inspection, survey, title review, and appraisal.
    6. Meet with your lender to fill out a mortgage application. Your lender will provide an estimate of how much money you will need for the down payment, closing costs, and all costs associated with your loan. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Typically, a well-organized loan file should be processed in about four weeks.
    7. The loan closing takes place at a mutually agreed upon location, usually at a title company, where you'll sign many documents. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Bring a cashier's check or certified check for any upfront costs you need to pay to purchase the home. The seller will turn over all keys, garage door openers, and information about the home at this time.
    8. Mortgage payments are due the first day of every month. You will be assessed late fees, which can be substantial, for payments received after the 16th of the month. You should immediately contact your mortgage loan servicer if you are having problems making payments because late mortgage payments can negatively affect your credit rating.
    9. To get the most long term value out of your house, you must maintain or improve its quality. Seasonal and regular maintenance is critical to keeping and increasing its value and avoiding costly repairs. It is important to have savings set aside to help pay for any maintenance, planned or emergency.
    10. Now that you are a homeowner, you will be receiving many unsolicited offers for refinances or home equity loans. While such offers may be tempting, accepting them can sometimes be an unwise financial choice. A good rule of thumb when dealing with these offers is to consider the same issues that you addressed when you first applied for your home loan.
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