Home Buying Guide

This guide will show you the 11-step process of buying a home so you know what to expect.

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Prepare Yourself Financially

Ensure your credit is clean

The best thing you can do immediately to help your credit report is to make sure there are no late or unpaid obligations. Your credit report should be clean before seeking your pre-approval.

Save for a Down Payment

Fortifi has conventional financing options available with as little as 5% cash down payments for qualified buyers. While a purchase done with a 20% down payment is ideal in order to avoid additional costs, such as Private Mortgage Insurance, Fortifi Bank is ready to help you get into the home of your dreams with a lower down payment as needed. In addition, there are options available if you have been gifted a down payment as well.


Get Pre-Approved

Complete pre-approval application

You can get pre-qualified for a home loan by completing a mortgage application, either through our website or in person with one of our Lending Specialists.

Compile financials and provide to lender

Full federal tax returns and W2s from the last two years
Two most recent paystubs for each borrower
Bank statements from the last two months
Most recent 401k or retirement account statement
Color copy of driver’s license for each borrower
Self-Employed borrows: Business tax returns from the last two years and YTD profit and loss statement
Retired borrowers: Social security award letter and other pension/retirement income verification as necessary
Online Pre-Approval Application


House Hunt

This step can be really fun! Its important to know the difference between your house needs and your house wants. You would love to have a fireplace, but is it truly a need? Consider enlisting the help of a real estate agent to make your house hunt faster and easier.
Contact a Local Mortgage Specialist


Write an offer

A realtor or attorney can assist in drafting the offer

The art of the offer and counter-offer is a delicate balance. The buyer wants to pay the lowest possible amount for the house and have flexible terms for things like closing dates, inspections and other mortgage commitments. The seller wants to get as much money as possible with very few contingencies and a quick timeline. Working with a realtor helps this process.

Be prepared to put down earnest money

Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller showing your good faith in a transaction. Earnest money allows you additional time when finalizing financing.


Complete final application

The final application consists of the lender ensuring there are no changes to the borrower’s financial situation such as employment, verifying funds to close, and confirming all contingencies of the approval have been met. Your lender will contact you if they need any other information to finalize your application.

Contact a Local Mortgage Specialist


Schedule home inspection

Anytime we buy something, we go to certain lengths to make sure the thing we’re buying is worth what we’re about to pay for it. Many times when you’re about to buy anything, you check online for reviews. You type in what you’re looking for, and then you look for the product with the highest number of good reviews. Buying a home is no different, and a home inspection is an absolute must to make sure the investment you’re about to make doesn't end up costing more than you think.


Final Loan Approval

Once all contingencies of the contract have been met, the lender will provide you with a final loan approval letter. The lender also will work with the involved parties to schedule the closing.
Contact a Local Mortgage Specialist


Secure homeowner’s insurance

Once contingencies have been cleared and a closing date has been selected a homeowner’s policy can be issued effective the day of closing.


Receive closing documents/information

You want to be as prepared as closing day draws near. The lender will provide closing information which includes amount needed to bring to closing.

Monthly Payments

Upon the closing of your mortgage loan, the repayment period will begin. The required monthly payment is made up of principal (the actual funds borrowed) and interest (the accrued cost paid to the bank for providing the borrowed funds) and is calculated at a set monthly amount for the life of the loan determined by the term of the loan (typically 15, 20 or 30 years). In some instances, the monthly payment may also include escrow obligations. These escrow figures may include funds to pay your real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance premiums, and/or Private Mortgage Insurance.


Final walk through

This is typically done the day of or the day before closing – final viewing of the property to ensure condition has not changed.


Attend Closing

You made it! It’s finally time to enjoy your new home. Congratulations on taking this step in life.

Contact a Local Mortgage Specialist