7 Steps to Home Ownership

Contributed by Josh Blikre, Bismarck-Mandan Mortgage Market Lead (NMLS # 613433_

There are seven steps to home-ownership that will help you in the journey of purchasing your forever home starting with a pre-qualification process and ending with a closing. 

1. Pre-qualification

Before you start looking for a new home, you should have a good idea of what you can afford. An American mortgage lender will pre-qualify you and provide you with an estimated monthly payment amount so you can better understand what fits your budget. With pre-qualification complete, you're all set to find your dream home.

2. Application

Once you've found your dream home, it's time to officially submit an application. During this process your mortgage lender may request:

  • 30-60 days of most recent paystubs
  • Last two years of tax returns and W2's
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Most recent asset, retirement or 401(k) statements
3. Homeowners insurance

While your loan is under way, you'll need to secure homeowners insurance for your new home. American Insurance Center can help guide you through your new homeowners policy. 

If you're putting less than 20% down on your new home, mortgage insurance is also required. A mortgage lender can walk you through these requirements.

American Insurance Center is an equal opportunity provider. Products and services offered through American Insurance Center are: * Not a deposit * Not FDIC insured * Not insured by any federal government agency * Not financial institution guaranteed

4. Appraisal

American will work with a local appraisal company to assess your home and compare it to similar homes in your neighborhood to ensure the price of your home is of fair market value. Your lender will provide you a copy of this appraisal. 

5. Title Insurance

American will work with a title company to obtain title insurance on your property. This tells us what the ownership status of the property is, as well as any events that could affect ownership of the property, such as liens or levies. 

6. Final Loan Approval

Prior to closing, your mortgage lender will review all information pertaining to your loan including the debt-to-income ratio, credit history and employment history. 

To help this process move smoothly, it's important to avoid opening new bank accounts, making extra charges on credit accounts or changing jobs during this time. 

7. Mortgage Closing 

It's time to celebrate - it's closing day! During the closing you will  review and sign all of your loan documents. You will need to provide:

  • Documentation of homeowners insurance
  • A cashier's check to cover your down payment, closing costs, taxes and insurance 
  • Two forms of ID

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, building your dream home or looking to downsize, American's mortgage team wants to be with you every step of the way.

Get started by applying online today! 


About Josh

Originally from Minot, Josh has been working in the financial industry since 2003.  He listens to his clients’ real estate goals, then provides the right financing to best suit their needs.  “I love seeing the joy on customers’ faces after they purchased their first home or dream home.”  With his depth of knowledge regarding mortgage programs and products along with American’s flexible terms and competitive rates, Josh makes the process of buying a home comfortable and easy.

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