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Steps to Buying a House

Buying a home can feel overwhelming, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. This guide highlights the steps involved so that you'll know what to expect on the path to your new home.

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Get a clear picture of your finances

Before you start house hunting, take a good look at your financial situation. Knowing what you can afford will better prepare you for your home search and mortgage application.

Use our calculators to crunch the numbers

Work with an Experienced Team

As you go through your home-buying journey, remember you are not alone. A Citi Home Lending Officer will help you find the best mortgage options and answer any home financing questions you may have. Citi can also connect you with Home Captain, an empowering resource for your home search. Their concierge team can assist if you'd like to be matched with a local real estate agent. Home Captain can also work with you and your loan officer to assist in your home search. See limitations.

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What to look for in a Home Lending Officer

  • Someone who has worked with first-time home buyers in the past
  • Responds quickly and can be reached easily
  • Understands your unique situation and can provide loan options
  • Someone who can explain and help with any documents or paperwork
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Find the right mortgage

When looking at your available mortgage options, there are some key things you'll want to consider: the loan type, the rate type and the loan term. Pay attention to the requirements for different loan types, compare the pros and cons of fixed or adjustable rates and think about how the length of your loan term will affect your monthly mortgage payments.

Learn more about your mortgage options

Get pre-approved

When it's time to go house hunting, getting pre-approved first can have major advantages. Armed with a SureStart® Pre-approval, you'll have a better idea of your price range and more negotiating power. Also, since you would have already spoken to a lender, real estate agents and sellers will see you as a serious and qualified buyer.

Learn more about SureStart® Pre-approval

Complete your mortgage application

Once your offer has been accepted, you'll go through the rest of the mortgage process. When you receive your loan estimate, make sure you review the details carefully and ask questions if there's anything you don't understand.

What to expect

  • You'll need about 30 minutes to fill out your application
  • A mortgage representative will be available to assist you throughout the application process
  • The whole process, from application to closing, typically takes between 30 and 60 days but could vary for your loan

What you'll need

  • Employment and income details like recent pay stubs and W2 forms
  • Asset information like checking/savings accounts, investments and retirement funds
  • If you're applying with someone else, you'll need their details as well

Close on your new home

This is the day you'll review and sign all your mortgage documents. Once you've paid your specific closing costs and signed on the dotted line, you'll get the keys to your new home! Congratulations!

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