First Time Home Buyer Guide: Path to Home Ownership

Just like any other major milestone or purchase in life, there’s a process to home buying. Following the process will ensure both short- and long-term success. While some steps outlined below might sound obvious, others might not. Consider the following steps as your first time home buyer guide. These steps will help you navigate the process and avoid missing out on the many services and programs—including down payment assistance—available to first time home buyers like you.

Learn as much as you can

  • Sign up for an online first time home buyer class.
  • Contact your local HomeSmart Oregon partner.

Prepare your finances

  • Pull together your employment, income, credit, debt and savings information to help you establish a plan and determine how much you can afford.
  • Meet with your area’s trusted HomeSmart Oregon partner to review your homeownership goals and financial status.
  • Resolve any outstanding credit and debt issues.
  • Save for a down payment.

Find out if you qualify for financial assistance

  • Work with your local HomeSmart Oregon partner agency to research down payment mortgage assistance programs, first time home buyer discounts and other financial incentives available for first time home buyers.

Get ready to buy

  • Meet with a loan officer to obtain mortgage pre-approval.
  • Select a realtor and search for a home.
  • Find a home and make an offer. 
  • Once your offer is accepted, put down an earnest money deposit.
  • Arrange a professional home inspection and negotiate any needed repairs.
  • Work with your bank to initiate the loan processing (including home appraisal).
  • Shop for homeowner’s insurance.
  • Receive underwriting approval.
  • Review and sign closing documents at the title company.
  • Wait for confirmation that documents are recorded and transaction closes.

Welcome to your new home!

  • Get keys, move in!
  • Celebrate!