First Steps in Your Home Search

Are you thinking of buying a new home, but not sure if now is the right time? The process can take a while, so now might be the perfect opportunity to start with the first step, pre-approval. This foundational step should happen even before you begin to research homes. Pre-approval gives you a better understanding of your buying power and allows you to search for a home that best suits your needs.

Lenders use established formulas for helping determine what price home you can afford to purchase. Depending upon the lender and the type of loan, you will be required to come up with a down payment based on a small percentage of the purchase price of your new home. Having a preferred lender allows us to connect clients with our loan officers who offer quick turn around times and alternative solutions with a variety of mortgage programs.

We have teamed up with our partners from First State Bank to guide you through the first steps of the process.

Benefits of Pre-Approval

Working with a mortgage professional early in the process also grants you the confidence you need throughout the home buying process from start to finish. You'll know what homes are or are not within your range, and you'll be able to narrow your home search properties that fit your budget and needs.

  • Show sellers that you're serious

  • Allows you to determine what you're comfortable paying

  • Limit your search to homes that fit your price range

  • Confidently make an offer knowing you have been pre-qualified by a reputable lender

  • Close faster

You'll need a number of documents when you apply for a mortgage loan. Being prepared will help ensure that the application process flow smoothly.

1. Last year's W2s

2. Pay check stubs or Profit/Loss Statements

3. Tax returns, unless you are self employed

4. Bank statements for all accounts

5. Valid photo identification

Other documents such as gift letters, retirement statements, bankruptcy documents, foreclosure/short sale documents, social security disability award letter, and full divorce decree should be provided if applicable.

Tips to Remember During the Process


1. Change Employment

2. Take out other loans

3. Rack up credit card debt

4. Make large deposits to your bank

5. Use debit or credit to make large purchases

6. Change bank accounts

7. Borrow money or cosign a loan

Next Steps

If you haven't already, consider hiring a buyer's agent. They will guide you through the process and ask the important questions so you don’t have to.

Always have the representation of a buyers agent. They know the process of purchasing a home—forwards and back. They know how to negotiate and will get you the best value for your home. Oh, and you don’t have to pay them a nickel. -Rory Macdonald, Arterra Advisor

We are here to advise you on the next steps based on what makes sense for you at this time. If you are interested in getting started in the buying process, or you would like to schedule a virtual consultation, contact your local Arterra Advisor or call us at 248-212-0751.

For first-time homebuyers, read more tips here.



425 S. Main Street,

Rochester, MI 48306



17370 Hall Road

Clinton Township, MI 48038

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