8 Steps of Home Buying (and How to Make Them Easier)Home OwnershipHome buying can be stressful. It’s already hard enough to find the perfect house. When you add the mortgage loan process on top of that, it can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.We’re breaking down eight of the most important steps of home buying and giving you an easier way to complete them. Whether you’re shopping for your first home or your fifth, this info will help make the whole process — from application to closing day — less stressful.Step 1: Understanding Your Credit ScoreHaving good credit is extremely important when buying a home. Your credit score helps determine your mortgage interest rate, so the higher your score, the better. Here are a couple of resources to help you understand and improve your score:FICO® Score Breakdown: Understanding Your Credit7 Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreStep 2: Setting a BudgetTake a good look at your finances and crunch the numbers to determine a monthly housing budget. One rule of thumb is that your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio should not exceed 43%. To calculate your DTI, add your monthly debt payments and then divide that total by your gross monthly income, which is what you make before taxes and deductions. (Don’t want to crunch the numbers yourself? Use our nifty DTI calculator to see your debt-to-income ratio.)For example, if each month you pay $1,200 for your mortgage, $250 for your car, $300 for your student loans, and $100 for credit card debt, your monthly debt payments total $1,850. If your gross monthly income is $5,000, your debt-to-income is 37% ($1,850 divided by $5,000 is around 37% DTI).Step 3: Getting Pre-QualifiedPre-qualifying for your mortgage loan is a must. It gives both you and your Realtor an idea of your homebuying budget, and it gives you an advantage when it comes to making an offer on a home (see Step 5). To get pre-qualified for a Connexus Mortgage, call our team at 800.845.5025.Step 4: Finding Your Dream HomeNow for the fun part! With your Mortgage pre-qualification in hand, you can start shopping for and touring homes. Look at local listings, go online, and talk to your Realtor to find the right home for your needs.Step 5: Making an OfferThis is a big step — and it pays to be prepared. Determining an offer amount can feel intimidating, but this article written by Realtor.com will help. Your real estate agent will also provide guidance and help you write an offer to purchase.Step 6: Securing Your LoanWoo — an accepted offer! Now, you need to finalize the financing and choose the right Mortgage for you. There are fixed rates, adjustable rates, and several term options. You won’t need to navigate this step alone — the Connexus Mortgage Team will help determine which financing option works best for you. Meet our Mortgage Loan Officers.Step 7: Getting an InspectionYou need a professional inspection of the home before closing. This step can uncover any unseen (and potentially costly) issues with the home, so don’t skip it.An inspection is normally part of a contingency on your offer to purchase a property. We have a few quick tips for this step, and your agent will provide additional help with the inspection process.Research the inspector. Here’s a helpful article to help you choose yours.Attend the inspection.Read the inspection report.Adjust your offer if major issues are found.Step 8: Closing the DealWhen the papers are signed and the deal is done, you have a new home. Getting those keys is a big accomplishment. Congrats!The mortgage maze can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team is made up of friendly professionals that will be with you every step of the way. Get started today.