Although it may seem overwhelming at first, the home buying process can be simplified in three easy steps. However, one two three is boring so let me explain with three F words. 1. Finance: the first step is to seek financial advice from a lender. First you must find a lender whom you trust and desire to work with throughout the complete transaction. Changing boats in the middle of the stream is possible but not suggested as it adds complications and stress. Find out how good your credit is and if it is not .....what you need to do to bring it up to par. Find out not only how much your lender is willing to finance for you and how much money you will need to bring to the (closing) table. Factor in the interest rate and points you are being offered. Learn what your payment will be; know that the lender is likely quoting PI (principle and interest). Calculate an additional $150-200 per month for TI (taxes and Insurance). Arming yourself with the knowledge of the strength of your buying power allows you to continue the endeavor with confidence. 2. Find the home of your dreams/desire. Find the home most suitable to your needs and taste. Elicit the assistance of a REALTOR ® to enable you to expand your search, access your choices, compare recent values of similar properties and to walk you through the transaction. Commit yourself to a Buyer/Broker agreement if you want the agent to work in your behalf and act as your advocate. 3. Finally when you are certain you've found what you want....exactly what you've been seeking or even beyond what you thought, it is time to make an offer. You and your REALTOR ® will work up the offer with what you plan to bring to the table and what you are asking of the seller. In Arizona this is done on a purchase contract which becomes legally binding if the seller signs accepting your proposal. However, be prepared for the seller to counter your offer and the reality of a possible negotiation process. When both parties agree, it becomes time for the buyer to begin the process of becoming a homeowner with inspections and plans for the pending closing of the transaction and moving. This is the time to start packing! In Arizona ownership occurs at recordation which is within three days after the signing. This will be the time to take possession. Keep in close contact with your REALTOR ® throughout the process as the agent will guide you through the time lines.