Becoming a First-Time Home Buyer: How & Where to Begin

Mortgage and Lending with NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 IL Lic 031.0006220/WI


Becoming a First-Time Home Buyer:

How & Where to Begin


You've made the big decision ... 


You've decided to buy a home!


Now what?  Where do you begin?


Begin by focusing on your future mortgage needs ...

So ... you've heard that securing a mortgage and financing a home can be challenging?  

The mortgage process can seem a bit daunting to some First-Time Home Buyers.  But I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to be that way.  Your home buying dream can become a reality if you prepare yourself and devise a plan, and then stick to that plan.  

Here's how and where to start ...
It's always a wise first step to thoroughly educate and prepare yourself prior to taking any new endeavor.  That's doubly true for novice Home Buyers entering their first mortgage process.  

The internet can be a very valuable tool and a great place to start with that preparation and education.  You'll find a myriad of informative and reliable websites, blogs, and articles available there.

Plus, via the internet, you can familiarize yourself with the process that lies ahead and acquaint yourself with the lingo and terminology used during the mortgage and home buying processes.  That's a tremendous help.

But most importantly ... and you shouldn't delay in taking the following vital step ...  

Find and talk to an experienced knowledgeable Loan Officer as soon as you decide to buy.  The sooner you do this the better, as the value found in doing so is immeasurable.  

How?  Where?  Why?



The following goal should be first and foremost with every potential Borrower (whether  First-timer or repeat):  

Growing and improving the number of financing options available to them ...


Speaking and working with a Loan Officer early on greatly increases the chances of accomplishing this goal successfully.

But beyond speaking and working proactively with a Loan Officer ... what other steps can be taken to insure smooth and successful mortgage financing?

Learning and performing the following PRIOR to starting the search for your home will deliver the head start and results you desire:

  • Establish then fully-commit to your home buying/financing priorities 
  • Evaluate your financial expenditures  
  • Go over all your finances with a fine-tooth comb  
  • Cut needless spending and find ways to save 
  • Designate a savings account specifically for Down Payment monies and Closing Costs (or simply identify your current savings as your Home Buying Account)
  • Make the building of your Down Payment and Savings a prime objective and goal
  • Check your Credit Report to learn your Credit Scores (A free Credit Report (1 per year) is easily completed at
  • Check your Credit Report for errors
  • Don't open any new credit card accounts
  • Pay down as much debt as possible
  • Consider and weigh all your expenditures. (Do you really need to buy that new car BEFORE buying a house?)
  • Get organized and begin gathering the documentation needed for Mortgage Pre-Approval and Application 
  • Contact your Loan Officer to begin the actual Pre-Approval Process, at which time the Mortgage Credit Report will likely be pulled, if agreed upon

The earlier and better prepared you are (both in knowledge and organization), the more easily, fluidly, and successfully your financing and home buying will proceed and conclude.     

Pair the above with a willingness to ask questions and commitment to communicate in a timely manner.  Do that and you WILL SUCCEED ...



* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home in New Lenox or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area? 

Contact me! 

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.

I'm easily found at:

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator - nmls #216987 - IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI Licensed #216987
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp. 
nmls #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281
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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator,  40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin. 


Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated! 


Email Me .. to be added to my Mortgage & Real Estate Newsletter


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 04/29/2018 11:00 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 05/06/2018 11:00 PM
  3. Gita Bantwal 05/25/2018 08:31 AM
  4. Fred Griffin 09/21/2018 04:17 PM
Home Buying
Illinois Will County New Lenox
Chicago Area Real Estate BUZZ!
First Time Homebuyer
buying a home
firsttime homebuyers
mortgage process
applying for mortgage
homebuying advice
preparing to buy
preparing to apply for mortgage
homebuying and financing education
preparation to finance

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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks, Gene.  Valuable information for all the first time homebuyers out there.

Apr 25, 2018 05:31 AM #11
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi Great advice for every First Time Homebuyer ... I will be bookmarking!

Apr 25, 2018 06:55 AM #12
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

Great post! With emphasis on the best experience for first time buyers it is imperative they start with educating themselves about the process. 

Apr 25, 2018 10:39 AM #13

I have already been pre-approved but the amount is not enough to buy a home at this time that is move in ready. I want to find out more about the neighborhood stabilization program for Rio Rancho and Albuquerque.

Apr 25, 2018 12:30 PM #14
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Gene,

There always seems to be a new crop of buyers, who has never heard this.

Apr 25, 2018 12:49 PM #15
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great advice, Gene... and not just for the first time buyer! As far as I'm concerned, it's never too early to begin the process of getting approved.

Apr 25, 2018 12:52 PM #16
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Important tips!  I think buyers are more educated these days--however most do not contact  a lender first, and to me that is the most important first step--be sure you qualify and for how much

Apr 25, 2018 01:41 PM #17
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

If all new home buyers would follow your instructions, everyone (buyers and lenders) would have a much easier time of it.

Apr 25, 2018 03:24 PM #18
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

It's always a great pleasure to read the advice of a person of your caliber Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi 

Apr 25, 2018 11:12 PM #19
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Gene - it is also important that once they have their plan in place they set short term and intermediate goals.  For some it is a longer road than others.

Apr 26, 2018 03:11 AM #20
James Grant
Asheville, NC

Hi Gene,

That was Admirable advice for the First Time Buyer. Thanks for sharing.

Apr 26, 2018 06:38 AM #21
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

So what comes first, Gene? The chicken or the egg? Being an agent, I say call an agent first but you being a MLO might say call a lender first. I got a call from a "buyer" a couple of days ago. During the course of our conversation, I asked where he works. He has no job. Yet he wants to finance the purchase of a house. His grandmother sometimes gives him money, LOL.

Apr 26, 2018 09:00 AM #22
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, great advice for all buyers. It's best to start working with a Lender/Loan Officer on day one. 

Apr 26, 2018 09:03 AM #23
Pat & Sharon Mistowski
Horizon Lending Services, LLC - Prosper, TX
Horizon Lending Services, LLC

Really great job on this post Gene, you hit a lot of important points that first-time homebuyers will find useful!

Apr 26, 2018 03:40 PM #24
Leslie Currle
Alcova Mortgage LLC - Luray, VA
With you, every step of the way

Great tips and advice, Gene!  The mortgage process can actually be a pleasureable experience, especially if the homebuyers are prepared to do a little homework.  Thanks so much for sharing!

Apr 27, 2018 05:52 AM #25
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gene:

There is some terrific education and advice here for first times. Getting a mortgage may feel daunting but getting educated about the process, having a plan, and working with a knowledgeable loan officer who will provide the right guidance makes all the difference. My preference would be for a would-be buyer to start working a strong Realtor first, or at least at the same time!


Apr 27, 2018 08:23 AM #27
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Great advice for the first time home buyer. There is so much to think about prior to getting out and looking for a home. It is always best to know what to expect and be prepared.

Have a great weekend.


Apr 27, 2018 11:55 AM #28
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Hi Gene, These are excellent steps for buyers to take. Some need lots of time to get things in order and others are ready in very short order.

Apr 27, 2018 07:48 PM #29
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Wonderful post, Brotha Gene and you are spot-on with all of your points. There's something to be said for being prepared for anything in life but, this is a must when buying a home - first timers or seasoned buyers!

Happy Sunday!

Apr 29, 2018 10:39 AM #30
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this post!  It's so critically important to know the process inside and out as a first time buyer. Following this advice for First Time Home Buyers will ensure a smooth purchase!

May 02, 2018 09:22 PM #31
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience
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