First-Time Buyers

Find Your Dream Home With Stoney Oak

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you might be a little overwhelmed with where to even start. That’s why it’s especially important for first-time home buyers to work with a real estate team that will explain the process and work with you, start to finish.

At Stoney Oak, we’ll educate you and take the time to walk through each step of the process, making sure you feel comfortable and informed as you find your dream home. However long the process takes, we’ll be here, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have along the way.

How the Buying Process Works

Preparation is a big part of the process! Making sure you have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for and what your budget is makes the entire home buying journey easier. Here are the first steps you can expect as you start the process with Stoney Oak:

the number 1

Get pre-approved.

This first step is so important! Getting pre-approved for your mortgage helps you see how much you can afford to buy, giving you a budget for your home search. When you find the right house and put in an offer, it also lets the seller know that you can afford to buy the home, and it prevents any delays in the buying process. You’re welcome to work with any lender you’d like, and we’re happy to help you get in touch with a lender if you need one.

the number 2

Let your Realtor know your wants and needs.

Once you’re pre-approved and ready to start searching, your Realtor will ask for the wants and needs you’re looking for during your house search. For example, do you want an acre of land with the property? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need for your family? Do you want to live in town, on the lake, or out in the country? We’ll discuss this all with you so we can better refine your search.

the number 3

We’ll create a custom search for you.

After we determine what you’re looking for, we’ll set up a custom search set to your specifications, and we’ll send you any properties that fit into your search criteria. We’re happy to show you any property listed for sale whether you find it on our website or not!

Common Buyer FAQs

Depending on your loan type, anywhere from 0% and up. Most common down payment percentages are 0% – 20%. Your financial situation will help determine how much you can and should put down.

The most common costs include: earnest money, inspections, the title opinion, deed recording, closing fee, and the mortgage loan fees (including a down payment and lender closing costs — this amount differs between lenders).

Closing costs are those costs that include the loan origination fee, discount points, appraisal costs, and any other charges associated with the legal transfer of property. Typically, these costs will range between 2% and 3% of the mortgage amount.

The most common inspections include the home inspection (buyer fee), the wood destroying pest (termite) inspection (buyer or seller fee), and the time of transfer (septic) inspection if the property is on private septic.

Your credit score, income, and the amount of debt you have. Other factors can contribute as well, but these are the most common.

If the offer is in cash, it can be done as quickly as 2-3 weeks if agreed upon. With a mortgage, it typically takes 30-45 days.

The most common include FHA, USDA, and VA (income/credit limits applicable), along with a conventional mortgage.

Yes; however, this must be discussed with your lender prior to the gift happening. There are certain steps that must be taken to document it correctly.

Generally speaking, no. If it is a listed property, this fee comes from the seller. When assisting a buyer with a for sale by owner purchase, it can sometimes be requested that a buyer pay their agent a fee.

Yes, they have the option to make no repairs. Generally, we try and negotiate repairs out between buyer and seller, or ask for a monetary allowance so repairs can be made by buyer after closing.

The buyers will sign their closing documents with a closer, bring any funds they owe at closing, and will get the keys and take possession of the property as soon as all documents are signed. Sellers will often meet with their real estate agent prior to and won’t attend the closing.

Very important! Getting pre-approved alleviates several unknowns and also gives you a budget to work within. Sellers will most often choose an offer, if there are multiple made, with a buyer that is already pre-approved. Pre-approvals are usually good for 6 months after being issued.

There are three basic options: the seller reduces the price to the appraised value, the buyer pays the difference in cash at closing, or the transaction is canceled if no agreements can be met.

A buyer can put down an amount of money at the time of the offer that shows a seller they have the correct intentions in buying the property. This amount is then credited back to a buyer at closing if the purchase goes through. The seller has the right to this money if a buyer walks away from the deal for something that wasn’t written into an offer.

Pending: an offer has been accepted by the sellers and is in process. Contingent: A potential buyer has written an offer and had it accepted by the sellers, but the purchase is contingent upon the buyers current home selling. The house can still be shown and other offers written.

Realtors can show any property that is listed for sale in the state of Iowa. You aren’t required to call the agent that has it listed. We’re happy to help you look at any and all homes!

Send us a message and we’ll be happy to help!

Resources for First-Time Buyers

The Do’s

  • Keep your original documents or be able to access your pay-stubs, bank statements and other financial documents online.
  • Provide your Earnest Money Deposit by a personal check or cashier’s check whenever obtaining a mortgage. The money must be able to be traced to your account.
  • Alert your loan officer right away if you plan to use gift funds for a down payment. Certain steps must be followed to ensure accuracy.
  • Notify your loan officer of any changes in your employment, such as a raise, promotion, transfer, change of pay status, etc.
  • Keep in mind that a new credit report could be pulled just before closing, so do NOT make any big purchases prior to then. (A new vehicle, large furniture, etc)

The Don’ts

  • Close or open any bank accounts or transfer money between accounts without asking your loan officer what documentation will be required.
  • Deposit any cash or untraceable money without checking with your loan officer first.
  • Change jobs without talking to your lender first. This could impact your loan making you lose the purchase of your new property.
  • Make major purchases prior or during the closing such as new car, furniture, appliances, etc.
  • Open any new charge accounts, including from furniture stores.
  • W-2 forms (previous 2 years)
  • Paycheck stubs (Most recent 30 days)
  • Employer name and address (2 year history including any gaps)
  • Bank statement (most recent 2 months – all pages)
  • Statements for 401(k)s or any other stock accounts (if required)
  • Signed federal tax returns (previous 2 years)
  • Last 2 year history of your residency
  • Driver’s License or Photo ID
  • Other documentation may apply depending on situation