Buying a new home can seem overwhelming.  But knowing what to expect – and having a knowledgeable team of real estate and mortgage-lending professionals to assist you – can help make finding and financing your home an exciting and rewarding experience.  Here is a basic overview of the home buying process:


1. Obtain a mortgage preliminary approval before you begin house hunting.

  • Learn how much home you can purchase.
  • Strengthen your bargaining position with sellers.

2. Work with your real estate agent to find the right home.

  • Determine your needs and create a wish list of desirable features.
  • Take notes as you preview homes 

3. Make a purchase offer on a home you like.

  • Your real estate agent presents your offer to the seller, who will then choose to accept, counter or reject the offer.
  • When the price is settled, you and the seller sign a Purchase Agreement, defining the terms of the sale.

4. Complete the loan application process.

If you have already obtained a mortgage preliminary approval, contact your lender and let them know you have a contract on a home. Your mortgage consultant will update your loan application and help you to proceed with the home financing process.

5. Have the home inspected.

If you choose to have a home inspection, hire a professional home inspector after the offer has been accepted to provide an in-depth look at the basic systems of the house, which can reveal safety hazards and give you a chance to reconsider the deal.

6. The home will be appraised.

An appraisal, required by your mortgage lender, is a formal, written estimate of the home’s current market value.

7. Obtain title insurance. (where applicable)

Title insurance guarantees the property you are purchasing is free of liens or confusion in rights of ownership, and it also insures against any losses to the property that result from defects in the title or deed.

8. Close on the property.

  • A closing agent coordinates and distributes all the paperwork and funds.
  • Ownership of the property is transferred.


And you become the proud owner of your new home!  Our team of mortgage professionals is available to guide you every step of the way to help ensure your home buying process is a smooth one.

Contact a local mortgage consultant, today!

Planning to purchase a home?  You may already expect to make a down payment, pay for closing costs, and make an ongoing monthly mortgage payment for the life of your loan.  But did you know there may be other costs to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner?  Here are a few additional expenses to keep in mind for your household budget that go beyond your monthly mortgage payment:

Homeowners’ association/condo fees:  If you buy a home within a community represented by a homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association, you may be required to pay fees on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis to help cover the cost of maintenance to community structures, amenities and grounds.  These may be included as part of your mortgage payment.  If not, you’ll need to budget for them.

Maintenance, updates & repairs:  Keeping a property in top condition can be costly.  This is particularly true of older homes, where system and appliance warranties may have expired.  Home warranty plans provide repair or replacement coverage for certain built-in appliances and major home systems for a specific length of time.  They can cost a few hundred dollars a year, depending on your mortgage size and where you live.

Utilities: Budgeting for heating, cooling, electricity, natural gas, water/sewage, and trash removal are some of the expenses homeowners may face on a monthly basis.  Before buying a home, consider asking the seller for a record of the last 12 months of utility bills for the home.

Personalization: An expense that catches many buyers off-guard is the cost of updating elements of the home to meet your needs or personal taste.  New furniture, window treatments and lawn care equipment are examples of costs that can quickly add up.  Try to make a list of items you need, and then create a budget to help keep costs under control.


Need help figuring out how much you can afford? Get started with our affordability calculator

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, understanding the role of an appraisal in the home buying process is important.  An appraisal can have a significant impact on your real estate transaction, so here are some common questions about the process:

What is a property appraisal?

A property appraisal is a professional assessment of a home’s value conducted by a licensed appraiser.

What does an appraiser do?

An appraiser evaluates a home’s value by considering various factors such as the home’s features and location, current housing market conditions, and comparison to the sale of similar homes in the area.

How do appraisers provide an unbiased assessment of a home’s value?

An appraiser is a licensed, independent service provider who has no affiliation with a home’s buyer or seller.  Appraisers are paid a flat fee for their service rather than a commission so they are unprejudiced when determining a home’s fair market value.  There are also federal laws that require the appraiser to be unbiased in the performance of the appraisal. 

When does an appraisal take place?

Once a buyer and seller both sign a purchase agreement for a home, the buyer can complete their loan application and continue with the home financing process.  During that time, the buyer’s mortgage lender will order the home’s appraisal.  An appraiser is assigned to assess the home’s value and will submit an appraisal report back to the lender once the appraisal is complete.

What if the appraisal of a home’s value is lower than expected?

If a home’s value is determined to be different than the contract price, and the buyer feels that the estimate is inaccurate, then the buyer may authorize an appraisal reconsideration process.  The buyer, real estate agent or lender may ask an appraiser to:

  • consider additional, appropriate property information,
  • provide further detail, substantiation or explanation for the appraiser’s value conclusion, and/or
  • correct any errors within the appraisal report.

What can be included in the appraisal reconsideration?

To reexamine a home’s value, appraisers may consider:

  • a list of major home improvements or upgrades completed after the original appraisal, such as renovations, landscaping, or replacement of major systems or utilities.
  • a copy of the plat or site plan showing unique or contextual characteristics such as a lot’s size compared to those around it, a desirable view, or even a quiet property away from busy areas.
  • overlooked sales and listings that were used to help determine the home’s price.
  • elements of the appraisal’s comparable properties that were reported incorrectly.
  • the home’s specific circumstances, such as multiple offers, special concessions, or repairs outlined in the contract that would raise the home’s value.

More questions about property appraisals?

Your mortgage consultant will be happy to speak with you directly to help make sure you understand the entire process.





This list is only to be used as a guide and is not all-inclusive.

Want to help your home financing process go more smoothly?  Once you've received a home loan approval, simply understanding issues that can impact the financing process is important. The following topics address potential challenges that may delay your closing date or even impact your ability to obtain a mortgage.

Follow these tips for a smoother financing process:1

DON’T hesitate to inform your mortgage consultant before making changes to your employment.

DON’T stop making payments on existing accounts.

DON’T make major purchases with credit, co-sign another loan, or max out existing credit cards.

DON’T assume closing existing lines of credit or paying off collections or charge-offs will improve your credit score.

DON’T deplete savings to pay off credit debts.

DON’T make large deposits into your bank account(s).

DON’T change bank accounts or transfer funds within existing accounts.

DON’T hesitate to contact your mortgage consultant if you are concerned something will impact your loan.


Individual circumstances will vary. Any one of the above mentioned activities may or may not impact the financing process. Questions?  Contact a mortgage consultant near you to discuss the details about your individual situation.




1. This list is only to be used as a guide and is not all-inclusive. Should events arise requiring changes to your credit, income or assets, your mortgage consultant can discuss how these changes may affect your loan application process. Edina Realty Mortgage is not a credit counselor. Information displayed is not credit advice and should not be relied upon or interpreted as such.

As Edina Realty Mortgage continues to monitor the government shutdown, we would like to share some frequently asked questions about the impact on mortgage loans.  Please contact your mortgage consultant with any questions or concerns about specific loan transactions.

Will the flood certification process be affected?

For the most part, the flood certification process will not be impacted. However if a situation requires additional research, such as mapping issues, the flood certification process will be impacted.

What about loans requiring social security number verification?

The Social Security Administration is now currently fulfilling requests for social security number verifications.

Will the IRS process tax transcript requests?

The IRS started to process transcript requests as of January 8th. However, the IRS will require an undetermined amount of time to return to normal service levels.

What is the impact on USDA loans?

USDA is unable to issue new commitments or guarantee closed loans. Effective December 15, 2018, USDA loans require tax transcripts. USDA loans cannot close without full tax transcripts for all adult household members.

How are government employees affected regarding employment verification?

If a borrower works at an agency that does not use a third-party verification resource, then employment verification cannot be completed. Loans cannot close without a 10-day verbal verification of employment (VVOE).

How are FHA, USDA & VA questions escalated?

Government agencies will have limited staff available to answer questions or correspondence.  We always intend to answer questions in a timely manner; however, we may be delayed in responding while we wait for clarification from the government agency.


Contact your local mortgage consultant to discuss any financing questions.




This list is of frequently asked questions is only to be used as a guide and is not all-inclusive. Please contact your mortgage consultant for any questions related to specific loan transactions.

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