Buying your first home is an incredibly rewarding experience. The transaction process is complex, but you can trust Keyes and our expert Realtors® to simplify it for you. More importantly, we will guide you every step of the way; making sure to transparently present information that will help you make informed decisions. Our goals for you are peace of mind during the transaction and a dream home at the end of it.



Just by reading this, you are taking the first step in the transaction process. Learning if you are financially and mentally ready to buy your first home is always a good first step.


Every Realtor® isn’t the same and not all have access to the latest in real estate technology that helps them guide you. A Keyes Realtor® does and is backed with the knowledge you need to buy your home.


Pre-approval for a mortgage loan doesn’t mean you are guaranteed the mortgage loan specified, but it does show sellers how much you can likely afford and that you are a legitimate buyer.


Your Realtor® has access to the latest homes on the market, along with insights and connections that can help you find some that may not be for sale just yet or coming back on the market when an offer falls through.


There are great homes out there that you will love. A great Realtor® will help you narrow your search and position you to make the best offer possible for the one you want.


Your Realtor® will work with you to come up with an informed, well-priced offer that helps you stand out to the seller. Don’t worry if your first offer isn’t accepted. You will have one accepted on the home you are meant to buy!


Due diligence includes inspections, title searches, appraisals and more. Your Realtor® will keep you informed throughout to make sure your decision to buy is the right one. Read our “Due Diligence” section below for more info.


There are many mortgage loan options available, depending on your specific situation. Your Realtor® and mortgage partner will help determine the best one for you. Check out below for some basic loan types!


Keep your finances steady throughout the transaction process so that your mortgage approval comes through. Understand your escrow and closing costs, and make sure to SAFELY send them to your title company.


Whether homeowners, flood, or other insurances and upkeep, make sure you take care of your home. When you do this, it will take care of you and provide value and security for years to come!


Different lenders need different documents, depending on their lending criteria. Below is a list of what you will likely need available during the application process.


  • Pay stubs for each applicant reflecting a minimum of 30 days of income.
  • Names/addresses of employers during the previous two years.
  • W-2s for the previous two years.
  • One or two (or more) years of tax returns.
  • IRS Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ
  • Two or three (or more) months of bank statements.


If you have other forms of income or are self-employed, you will need to provide proof of income. Your lender will also request information on outstanding debts like auto or student loans and credit cards. As they review your application, your lender will likely request other documents.

Pre-qualification vs. Pre-Approval - What's the difference?

Many lenders use these terms interchangeably, but what you provide for a pre-qualification and pre-approval may differ. Either way, it is important that you and your Realtor® position you to show sellers that you will be able to secure financing once you enter into a contract to buy their home.


Pre-qualification usually requires that you supply your income, assets, debts and credit score to a lender, but doesn’t require full documentation of your financial history. This means that they won’t check the full accuracy of what you report. Pre-approval requires this documentation to verify that what you report is correct. It will also often require a credit check and corresponding hard inquiry on your credit report.


Because of this, pre-approvals may be seen as a more definitive ability to get approved for a mortgage. If you report your financial history accurately, a pre-qualification will report the same or similar amount when it comes to the loan a lender will approve.


Either way, once you receive your pre-qualification or pre-approval it’s important to make sure you don’t do anything that will negatively affect you when it comes time to officially apply for financing.


The buying process can be complicated, but Keyes streamlines it by providing you access to our leading mortgage, title, insurance, and property management services.


While these won’t be all of your questions, the answers can give you a reasonable understanding of why should should take the next step in the purchase decision.

Your situation is unique. If you are seriously asking yourself this question, chances are, probably! To find out definitively, let’s discuss your situation and whether it’s time to start the homebuying process.

Lenders now accept a down payment as small as 3% of the loan value. The traditional 20% down is no longer a deal breaker. In some cases, you may even find a seller willing to pay the closing costs. Some traditional loan options are below.
Long-term, there are few occasions where renting is better than buying. A homeowner has access to tax benefits and other financial advantages while also having greater opportunities and a sense of pride when it comes to the home itself.
You can typically deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes. There are other tax breaks based on location and situation that we can discuss in more detail during the transaction process.

You will receive an estimate of costs to close from your title and mortgage partners. This estimate will split out which side pays each cost and how much you will owe before or on the closing date.



Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will want to hire an inspection company to walk through the home. They will let you know more about the appliances, HVAC, roof, foundation, and more.

Title Search

In addition to holding down payment and other closing funds in escrow, your title company will complete records searches and other details to make sure no other parties can claim ownership, liens, or debts on the property.


Your mortgage partner will have an appraiser review recent sales in the area to determine the value of the home they will use to approve the mortgage loan.


Your insurance provider will request the details of the inspection to quote your homeowner’s insurance policy details. If your property requires flood insurance, that will be included as well.

HOA Approval

Some subdivisions with a homeowners association require that you get HOA approval before closing on your home. Make sure you or your Realtor® connect with the association to find their requirements and restrictions early on in the process.


Whether you are looking to buy, sell, rent, or join our family of expert Realtors®, we have someone standing by who can answer all of your questions. Let us put your mind at ease and give you a platform for a successful real estate experience.