What First Responders Can Expect During the Homebuying Process?

Purchasing your first house in California is an important decision, and you must do your homework before you start the home-buying process. Knowing how the home-buying process works can prevent you from making bad decisions and give you the confidence you need when applying for a first responder home loan in California. 

Most first-time borrowers don’t know where to start, but fortunately, we’ve prepared a guide to help you get through progress. Let’s go through what you can expect during the home-buying process and what you’ll have to do to purchase your first home.


Once you’ve decided to purchase your first home, you probably want to start househunting immediately. In the current state of the real estate market, househunting might just dishearten you. You’ll discover how swiftly houses are selling and for well over asking. You must get your finances in order before shopping for a home to produce better results. 

To save cash, consider applying for first responder housing assistance in California.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Before you begin house hunting, keep in mind that there will be costs related to the house purchase that you can’t put in your mortgage. To give an example, paying for movers, down payment, earnest money, inspection fees, appraisal fees, and closing costs are some of the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll face when purchasing your first house.

Check Your Credit

Generally, to get approved for a mortgage, you’ll need good credit, a history of always making monthly payments on time, and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%. Lenders typically prefer to limit housing expenses to about 30% of the borrower’s monthly gross income; however, the amount can vary widely, depending on the local housing market.

Pay down some of your debt before applying for a home loan in California to improve your debt-to-income ratio.

Pick the Right Mortgage for You

The type of mortgage you’ll use to finance the home purchase affects what you’ll need to get approved for the loan (including the required down payment amount) and how you’ll repay it. Picking the right mortgage can increase the odds of approval and save you thousands in the long run.

Before choosing which type of mortgage you’re going to obtain, it’s essential to learn the pros and cons of each one. Here are some of the main mortgage options for first responders:

  • FHA loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This type of loan is generally easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages; however, their mortgage insurance requirements are more stringent.

  • Conventional loans are mortgages not insured or guaranteed by the government. They offer low down payment options but have stricter eligibility requirements.

Find a Real Estate Agent

The home-buying process has many steps. Although some individuals want to do things independently, having a reliable real estate agent can make the process easier.

Real estate agents will help you find a home appraiser, inspector, and title company because they typically have connections to professionals they work with and trust. They also understand the houses in your budget and help you set your priorities.

Start House Hunting

Now that you’ve hired a real estate agent, the search for your dream home begins. Do your homework, view, save, and repeat until you find the house that’s perfect for you.

Make an Offer

After you find the house of your dreams, now’s the time to submit an offer. Your real estate agent can be a resourceful tool here since they’ll provide you with comparable sales information and any information about the seller they might acquire from the seller’s agent.

If the seller turns down your offer, you might make a counteroffer or walk away, depending on why they rejected the offer.

If the offer is accepted, you’re only a few steps away from buying your dream home.

Close & Move

Once your home loan is approved, and at least three business days before you close, you’ll get a closing disclosure. The disclosure lists the fees you must pay, usually 2 to 5% of the house price. Read the form carefully, and if you spot mistakes, let your lender know. Then, bring your ID and payments that are due to the closing.

Once the mortgage closes, which can take several days, the funds go to the seller, then you get the keys and can now move into your new home.

Contact loan officers from Nuline Funding of California if you’re ready to start your journey toward homeownership.

We will be glad to take your call.

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with the mortgage advisor for more information.