Explore Home Ownership

A basic overview of the home-buying process

Owning a home is often our first step toward building personal and investing in our community. Though like all first steps, it is not taken lightly. At Equity Atlas, we are committed to making this process as informed and stress-free as possible. By outlining the processes, and then providing you with the appropriate tools to manage these processes, we believe you will make better, more-informed decisions. Here we offer a home-buying overview as an introduction to understanding the basic structure of buying a home.



Pre-approval is the most important step in your preparation for buying a home. Here you will determine your Financial Fitness and explore the types of loans and loan amounts you can qualify for. Once , you will know how much home you can afford, how much money you will need for a and any other necessary steps required to ensure your success in purchasing a home. Get Pre-Approved


Choose a Home

Once you've gotten to this step, you know your price-points, and you can start the exciting process of exploring what's on the market. There are so many real estate companies and websites out there, it's hard to know if you are seeing all the homes that may be right for you. The best option is to find an expert and reliable to assist you. He or she has access to information that isn't always posted online, and a good agent will help you focus your search so you don't waste valuable time.


Home Inspection

The is completed after the Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement is executed by all parties. The agreement provides sufficient time for you to inspect the home (10 days + time for repairs). While not required as part of the home buying process, the services of professional home inspectors are often utilized by homebuyers. These professionals are highly trained in all matters pertaining to home maintenance, including: deferred maintenance, pest infestation, dry-rot, energy efficiency, building code violations or anything else that might jeopardize the integrity of the home. By uncovering potential repairs as well as future maintenance issues, the inspection report is good protection against unforeseen expenses now and in the future.



After the is complete and any repairs or price adjustments have been negotiated and addendums executed, the next step is the . The appraisal determines the of the home you are purchasing. A state-licensed real estate appraiser is an expert and certified professional who determines the value of your home. This is accomplished in a number of ways, including comparing the value of similar homes that have recently sold nearby. The appraiser's fee is collected up-front and cannot be refunded, therefore, it is important that the home inspection is complete and all parties are in agreement and ready to move forward.


Homeowner's Insurance

Part of the home buying process is selecting an insurance company to provide property insurance for your home. Generally, homeowner's insurance covers fire or lightning damage, windstorm or hail damage, freezing of the plumbing system and theft as well as bodily injury or property damage.

Insurance coverage, at a minimum, must be equal to the estimated replacement cost of your home. In addition to insuring the value of your home, it is generally recommended you insure your personal property. Replacement cost is not the same as market value. Talk to an insurance agent about how they estimate replacement costs.



Your home has been inspected. The is completed. All terms and conditions of the sales agreement have been satisfied. All loan conditions have been signed-off. You have started to make moving arrangements and are now ready to close.

The drafts the final set of loan documents which are sent to the company. The officer then prepares a HUD Settlement statement which determines how much cash you will need to bring to . The event normally takes place at the title insurance office or an attorney's office (if you're located in an attorney-closing state). At this time you will settle all the financial details associated with your home purchase and receive the title to your new home.


Loan Closing

In attendance at the signing will be the officer and customarily your and . The escrow officer's job is to make sure all necessary documents have been signed and verified by you and that the funds from the sale are properly distributed.

The loan documents will be presented to you by the escrow officer and carefully explained so that you understand the important terms. He or she will answer any questions you may have. Many of the documents will be identical to the documents initially signed at the loan application. After you have signed all the necessary documents and paid your and s, the closing is complete.



Normally, funding occurs the day after signing. The wires the loan funds to the company. The officer at this time pays off any s secured against the property, issues the title insurance (which s you a title as long as you own the property), activates your policy and records the trust deed at the county courthouse which transfers ownership to you. Congratulations, you are now officially a home owner!



The sales and will dictate the terms of the possession date. Possession usually takes place the same day as funding. Arrangements will be made by the to secure the keys. The day you move into your new home will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. While homeownership does come with responsibility, you will take pride in the fact you have a new home for you and your loved ones to enjoy now and in the future.