Buying a House Checklist

Decide on Your Budget

How much should you spend on your future home? Deciding on your budget is very important, as is looking at your potential investment numbers for your prospective home.

Some things to keep in mind when deciding on your budget is taking all of your other debts into account, as well as your monthly to yearly expenses. Calculate your monthly spendings and potential budget, and make a list of your monthly debts, including your credit card debts. Some things to keep in mind when calculating your monthly spending and debts include the following:

  • Travel expenses
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Gasoline expenses
  • Car lease or car loan payments expenses
  • Online entertainment membership expenses
  • Fitness memberships expenses
  • Dining out expenses
  • Grocery expenses
  • House utility expenses
  • TV Cable expenses
  • Auto insurance expenses
  • Clothing expenses
  • Public transportation expenses
  • Sanitation and garbage expenses
  • Student loan payment expenses
  • Other minimum loan payment expenses
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Life insurance expenses
  • Property tax expenses
  • Mortgage or rent expenses
  • Homeowners or renters insurance expenses

It is important to sometimes lower your housing budget in order to ensure that you will be able to pay all of your high-interest debts in a shorter period of time. However; it may be more worth, often times, to spend that extra cash that may be a little bit out of your budget, if it means that you will have greater investment potential in the long-run. This is what makes Zumbly special; we help you find the house that will make you the most money, and potentially, pay for itself!

Imagine being able to travel for free. This cuts down your travel expenses and your monthly debts and expenses tremendously! What if we told you that you could travel for free, whenever you wanted to? Check out our “The Ultimate Thailand Vacation Guide: How To Travel For Free With Zumbly” to find out more about how this works and how we can help make traveling for free a reality for you.

Related: How to Make an Offer when Buying a House

The Search for a House

House searching can be the best part of the buying a house. Searching for houses is extremely exciting, but it is often taken for granted. When conducting your house search, you want to keep a few things in mind; among the most important is asking yourself how much you can invest in your potential house.

In other words, will your house be able to potentially pay for itself? You can rest assured that our Zumbly Home Score will help you make most effective and most efficient house search yet.

Our Home Score here at Zumbly generates a real-time scored that is based on over 500,000 calculations. Homes in each city are weighed and are scored against each other. We will discuss more about housing investing and how in this article.

In our next section below “Can You Invest?” we describe how Zumbly can help you find the most worth-it home on the market. What are you waiting for? Start searching!

Can You Invest?

The most important thing you have to ask yourself during your buying-a-house-checklist is: can you invest? Zumbly shows you that the approach to buying a home, although very emotional, can be a financial decision which still fulfills your lifestyle needs.

You want to make sure that you are looking at properties that can potentially pay themselves. Invest in your future and protect it by buying smart and knowing your home will be a great rental property when you decide to upgrade, move to another state, or god forbid lose your job.

It’s time to live your dream and buy homes that make financial sense. Here at Zumbly, we make sure to help you buy a house that will build you wealth, not debt. Your ideal home is one that will allow you to live your lifestyle, while remaining a solid investment. Zumbly generates a real-time score based on over 500,000 calculations!

If you want to make sure that you are buying a property that you know you can invest in, use Zumbly’s filters to search what a property can really do for you.

Go to Open Houses

When it comes to buying the right house, you want to make sure that the house is what it appears to be on the internet. When you have narrowed down your search, in terms of potential neighborhoods that you like or know are best to invest in, make a list of the houses that you want to take a closer look at.

When you find something that you particularly do not like in a specific house, make sure to ask yourself if it is an easily fixable and simple cosmetic issue. If this is the case, then you have to weigh the pros and the cons; is this cosmetic issue worth not buying this property? The answer is usually no, so it is something that you want to keep in mind when looking at houses and properties.

lady looking through magnifying class

Check Your Credit Score

Before you begin your home search and home-buying process, is it a good idea to check your own credit. Most lenders see your FICO score, so make sure that you are using a FICO score. This will grant you the time that is necessary to work on further building your credit score if required, even the slightest increase in your credit score can make a big difference for you in the long run.

Downpayment and Closing Costs

If you are looking to get a mortgage, then the most important step is deciding on which mortgage type is right for you. The first process to getting a mortgage is getting your credit checked.

Next is getting approved by the mortgage, and this is followed by choosing the right mortgage. Some mortgages will allow a part, if not all of your downpayment to be obtained from a gift. Others types of mortgages, however, will typically be more restrictive. It is important to keep in mind that most lenders will want to see that you have you can afford your payments and that you have a substantial amount of money in your reserves that will allow you to cover your mortgage payments for a couple of months.

After resolving which type of mortgage is right for you, you will want to find the best lender. A big part of your buying a house checklist includes figuring out your downpayment and closing costs. Your downpayment is essentially the initial payment that you will make, when you buy something on credit. In our case, what you are buying on credit is your house.

Related: How Does Rent to Own Work in the Year 2019?


If you are applying for a mortgage, the lender will ask you for several documentation. If you make sure to gather all of the necessary documentation ahead of time, you will surely be buying yourself time and expediting the process. This will help you to obtain your approval sooner. Below is a list of necessary documents that you will need when applying for a mortgage:

  • Tax Returns: Your last two years’ tax returns are necessary documents because your mortgage lender will want to obtain a full history of your current financial situation. Your lender will want to see that your annual income is consistent with your listed reported earnings, and that there are no especially large fluctuations from year to year. By singing a 4506-T Form, you will grant your lender the permission to request a copy of your tax returns from the IRS.
  • Credit History: Your credit history report is a necessary document. It is needed for your lender to asses you as a borrower. In order to do this, your lender will need your written or your verbal permission. If your report has blemishes, which might include a previous foreclosure or sale, they will need to be explained. As the borrower, you have to be prepared to write a statement, in which you explain any negative items that exist on your credit history report.
  • Photo ID: Your photo ID is a necessary document that you have to provide for security purposes. This is so that you can prove that you are exactly who you are claiming to be. Your driver’s license, or Social Security card are also acceptable.
  • Employment or Income Verification: This includes the documents of your last two years’ tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, and your last few paychecks.
  • Renting History: If you already own a home, lenders may request proof that you will be able to pay your mortgage on time. Documentation of your renting history may include a year’s worth of canceled rent checks, or documentation which shows that you have been able to pay your rent by the due date. If you do not have an extensive credit history, then your renting history is critical.

It is important to keep in mind that your lender may ask for additional documentation and information to what is provided on this list.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

In essence, a mortgage pre-approval, is the same as applying for a mortgage. The only difference, is that in a mortgage pre-approval, you do not have a specific home that you want to buy in mind.

A preapproval is a commitment of lending you, the borrower, money. A mortgage pre-approval will make you look like a more serious buyer. The process of a mortgage pre-approval includes having your lender examine your credit history reports, your annual income, and your employment history.

Following this, your lender will be in charge of determining the maximum amount that you can borrow, exactly which loan programs you qualify for, and the interest rates that you will be offered.

Getting Inspection

Getting inspection should be an important part of your buying a house checklist. After you have chosen your ideal home, you get a short inspection period, which typically lasts from three to five days.

During this time, you are given the opportunity to hire a professional housing inspector to conduct a thorough inspection of your new property. This is important because if there is something that seems off, you will be given the chance to resolve whatever it is that is of concern.

Most home inspections are standard, and include the inspection of structural elements. These structural are comprised of your houses’ foundation, floors, ceilints, roofs, and walls. Inspections will check for parallel vs horizontal cracks on your floors, will make sure that your house’s foundation appears to be secure, that your roof does not have any leaks, and history concerning fires in your house’s attic.

Your professional housing inspector will typically also conduct an exterior inspection. This exterior inspection includes the evaluation of landscaping, elevation, wall coverings, drainage, grading, fascia, sidewalks, fences, windows, doors, exterior receptacles, tims and lights.

If your house has an attic, this is typically inspected together with your roof, to evaluate your roof’s construction, the framing and the ventilation. This will cover questions such as the length of time in which the roof must be replaced, its average life expectancy, and the number of layers that it is composed of.

Appliances are also inspected during your housing inspection. This includes the close examination of your range and oven, any built-in microwaves, smoke detectors, garbage disposals, and your builtin dishwasher. Washers and dryers may be included in this inspection; however, it is important to make sure that these items are not the original owner’s personal property, and that he or she will not be taking the items with them.

Let us help you make your buying a house experience as fun as it can be, by helping ensure that you are not only buying a house, but investing in it and creating the future that you want for yourself. Search for your ideal house with us today!

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