1. Consider your personal situation

Make sure you’re ready to take on the financial responsibilities of managing a mortgage, insurance, property taxes, utilities, and ongoing home maintenance before you buy.

2. Buy only what you can manage

A prequalification from a home mortgage consultant will help you understand your price range so you don’t fall for a house outside of your price range.

3. Don’t skip the inspection

Home inspections often identify problems related to the age and construction of the home including a sinking foundation, or simply a broken dishwasher.

4. Keep an eye on interest rates and fees

When shopping for the best rates, be sure to also compare the annual percentage rate or APR. The APR includes your interest rate and certain fees, such as lender fees and mortgage broker fees, based on the specific characteristics of your loan. The APR shows what percentage of your loan amount you will need to pay every year over the life of your loan. 

5. Prepare for down payment and closing costs

A down payment is required for most loan programs. However, a 20% down payment is not mandatory. In fact, qualified homebuyers may be able to put down as little as 3%. You should also prepare to cover closing costs, which could be another 3% to 5% of your loan amount.

6. Take advantage of programs

You may qualify for down payment assistance or even lower your mortgage costs by researching and applying for homeownership grants, loans, and tax credits.

7. Understand your borrowing choices

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing your loan type so be sure to understand the difference between conventional and FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans, and short and long term, fixed or adjustable rate loans.

8. Meet with a Home Mortgage Consultant

Get help demystifying the home buying process. A Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant can help you find loans, terms and programs that may be right for you.

Through our Advancing HomeownershipSMeffort, we hope to impact the declining homeownership rate among African Americans. In 2018, we committed to helping create more than 250,000 homeowners over the next 10 years by lending a projected $60 billion to African American homebuyers. No matter what stage you are in within the home buying process, we can help you prepare to be a responsible home buyer. Visit our resource centerto learn, plan and take action towards your homeownership goals. What’s the next step on your Empowerful journey? Get inspired at wellsfargo.com/empowerful.

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