8 steps to take before you buy a home

Simplify the home buying process by making a few smart moves before you start your search.

Tags: Mortgage, Home, Home buying, Loans
Published: November 23, 2021

House shopping can be an exciting process, but it takes time and preparation to get ready to buy a home. These eight tips can help you start off on the right foot. If you're ready for the next step, or have more questions about the home buying process, contact a mortgage loan officer.


Getting started

1. Confirm your credit score

Credit scores are among the first indicators a mortgage lender will look at, so find out where you sit on the spectrum and correct any reporting errors that could be holding you back.1  

2. Start building better credit 

You'll always thank yourself tomorrow for strengthening your score today, so keep card balances in check, make payments on time and raise your credit limit if possible

3. Buy or rent? 

Homeownership may be the ultimate goal, but in some situations, it may make more financial sense to keep renting over the short-term until you can set aside a larger down payment.2


Getting serious

4. Monitor the market

If buying is the right decision for you, it's time to identify targeted neighborhoods and research local listings. 

5. Set your ceiling

Determine how much house you can afford by aiming for a total monthly mortgage payment that is no more than 1/3 of your gross monthly income.3

6. Build or buy? 

Consider the costs of remodeling an existing home to meet your needs against the expense of crafting a new property to your specifications. The numbers could be closer than you think! 


Getting ready

7. Get pre-approved

Real Estate Agents recognize mortgage pre-approval as the sign of a serious buyer. After enlisting a Loan Originator to verify your financial profile, you'll be able to approach agents with confidence. 

8. Start saving

Down payment requirements will vary but be sure to understand how your initial investment will impact long-term payment obligations.


Ready for your next home? A mortgage loan officer is a great source to help you navigate the process. Learn more about mortgage and home loan options.


Mortgage and Home Equity products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Loan products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association and subject to normal credit approval. 
Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, Home Equity and Credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.