Home Buying Guide

Home buyer Education

You need to know what you’re getting yourself into when buying what is most likely the most expensive investment of your life. We recommend that every first-time buyer attend some kind of education session whether that be one on one with your agent or in a class setting through something like the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Homebuyer Education Course.

It’s important that you understand the process of purchasing a house before you embark on your journey to take own your first property. By going through some form of education or training, you more likely to get a property that fits you and your investment needs

After you have made the decision to invest in a house, there are a few more steps to follow before you find your dream property to make your home.  Once you have established your budget, your wants and needs, developed a plan, and started browsing; it’s time to work with one of our highly qualified brokers who will guide you through the steps below to turn a house into your new home.

Who You'll Work With

Loan Officer

If you’re not buying a property with cash, you’re going to need a loan. Rates differ based on credit score, loan type, and other factors. Some loan programs are lower rates with higher down payments, others offer lower rates if you meet a credit score minimum. Some states also have more loan programs than other states, and these may be allocated based on criteria unique to that state’s programs.

A loan officer is there to help you navigate the loan process. They will identify the best rates and terms for you and explain them so that you’re confident in your decision.

Be sure to ask questions throughout the process. Everyone should be ready, willing, and able to explain their role in your transaction.

Real Estate Agent

Agents or Brokers are professional negotiators who see hundreds of contracts a year. Our job is to protect you as the buyer when you enter into a transaction. Click here for a breakdown of the buying process(buying process below). We are well versed in the documentation and legal processes associated with buying real estate and it is our duty to make sure that you don’t lose your earnest money (link to buying process breakdown).

Real estate agents are there to ensure you have a smooth transaction. Agents are required to be licensed with the state and are required to renew that license every two years. To learn more about what it takes to become a real estate agent, check out the Rockwell Institute for all the details.

Before you find your dream home, it is important to be pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval will help you determine your final budget, as well as help speed up the process once you do find the home you are searching for. Our brokers can recommend experienced and knowledgeable lenders to make the process as smooth as possible.

Once you decide to work with Heaton Dainard, your broker will help you determine your wants and needs, non-negotiables, location preferences, and final budget. Your designated broker will help you search for the home that fits your criteria and arrange appointments for you to view homes. Our team will also assess the long-term resale value of each home you are considering to give you the most accurate long-term resale estimates as well as current valuations.

Once you have found a property that fits your buying criteria, your broker will work with you make an offer. Our team of brokers will work to represent your interests while presenting the seller with an attractive offer on your behalf. Often, the seller will respond with a counter-offer which may include contingency clauses and deadlines. Your broker will work closely with you to ensure your interests are represented in further negotiations.
Once you have a pending agreement, it is important that you go back to your chosen lender to finalize your mortgage. During this time, you will finalize your down payments, interest rates, payment schedule, and all other related financial conditions associated with closing.

Also known as escrow or settlement, this final step includes: getting a title search, the final wlak-through, and the settlement. If at anytime you don’t understand something in the process, as your broker. Your broker is the best resource for understanding all parts of the closing process.



Congratulations! You are officially a home owner! It’s time to get the moving trucks booked and move into your new home!


Questions to Ask in the Home Buying Process

Asking these questions before you start working with someone will ensure that you’ve found the right fit for you. Be sure to ask questions throughout the process. Everyone should be ready, willing, and able to explain their role in your transaction.


For Real Estate Agents

For Your First Investment

For Loan Officers