Your Guide to Homeownership

Written by Kelsey Chisholm

One of the very first-steps towards homeownership is taking a solid look at finances and reaching out to a local lender. It is always exciting to hit the ground running to begin the home search, but there are a few tasks to cross off your list before you make that big Grand Rapids real estate purchase!

To take advantage of this exciting time in the market, let’s walk through how to best prepare for homeownership.

Step 1- Talk to a Mortgage Professional

Before you buy a home, you should get in touch with a local lender. You can easily get a referral from friends, family, co-workers or even your Realtor! If you do not have a Realtor, we would be happy to refer you to a great one in the area.

You should choose to work with a local lender because all paperwork, communications & underwriting happens locally; thus saving time, work and stress and significantly reducing the processing time on our loans. Local lenders are competitive with interest rates and fees and they know how to make the process run smoothly to close quickly.


Step 2- Prepare for Homeownership

It’s never too early to start taking steps towards buying your first home by informing yourself and saving. If you already know that homeownership is in your near future, there are some easy ways you can lay the groundwork now:

Get a mortgage pre-approval through your local lender. You can apply here!

Review your credit score and improve it if need be.

Talk to a trusted, local lender about types of mortgage programs you qualify for.

Organize your funds to start saving for a down payment and possible closing costs.


Step 3- Get pre-approved

Whenever you are ready, we are here to get you pre-approved so you can start shopping for homes! What does a strong mortgage pre-approval do? It gives you leverage when it comes to biding on a home with multiple offers.

To become pre-approved, your lender will need:

Your full name

Date of birth

Current address


Current assets for a down payment

Bank account balance

Employer, name, address, position, years on the job



Step 4- Find the right property

Because purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, you will want to walk through all your wants and needs in a home with your Realtor!

Some examples of wants and needs:

School district

Home size

Home systems

Home features






Step 5- Submit an offer

Did you find the perfect home? Congratulations! Your Realtor will place a competitive bid on your behalf. They will also read all contracts with you before signing, making sure you understand all the terms.

Check out these Do’s and Don’ts during the mortgage process

Step 6- Closing time

Yay! Your offer got accepted- Here are the next steps in your home purchase!

It is time to get everything finalized to prepare for your next big adventure. Your lender will help you to protect your home by walking you through homeowner’s insurance options.

Here are some other tips on how to best prepare to move into your new home:

Keep your files from the home purchase in a safe place

Ask your lender or Realtor any question you may have

Set up new utilities in your name

Meet your neighbors

Review HOA policies and rules if any


Even after closing, Treadstone will be here for any questions you may have regarding your new mortgage. To learn more about how to make loan payments here!

It’s never too early to start taking steps towards buying your first home!