First Time Home Buyer's Guide

We have tailored a First Time Home Buyer Program specifically to take the mystery out of the home buying process

Here to help you buy your perfect home in the Pierce County or South King County areas.

Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting task. It’s an enormous purchase, possibly the largest one you’ll make. We’ve put together this First Time Home Buyer Guide that asks questions, provides direction and gives a little education to help you understand the process of buying your first home. If you are ready to take that next step, be assured that with our experience of the industry and Western Washington area, the Service First Real Estate Team is here to help you succeed.


Are You Ready To Buy?

Can you answer “YES” to the following questions:

  • Do you have a steady income?
  • Do you have low to medium debt?
  • Do you have cash for the down payment and closing?
  • Do you have two months of pay stubs and bank statements?
  • Have you worked two years with the same company or in the same industry?

Getting Pre-Approved

Mortgage pre-approval occurs when a lender has assessed your financial history and decided that you are an acceptable application for mortgage. Having a pre-approval makes the buying process much smoother.

To get pre-approved you need to:

  • Choose a lender
  • Fill out a loan application
  • Sign the approval document
  • Collect pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, proof of employment,  and have a 580+ credit score

Your Home Search

Understanding what you’re looking for is a top priority. Let’s talk about the features of your future home:

  • Location
  • Price
  • Square footage
  • Bedrooms
  • Baths
  • Style
  • Features
  • Schools

Search Tools

With technology and social media today, there are many tools available to you. We consider the following to be the top 3 search tools:

  1. Service First Agent Search: MLS, Agent network, our website
  2. Customer Search: Service First Real Estate Team website, yard signs, open houses, model homes, friends, FSBO
  3. High-Tech Tools: Automated home search system via the internet

Making An Offer

When you find the home you love it’s time to make an offer. The typical process when making an offer on a home is:

  • Find out what the Seller wants
  • Put down earnest money
  • Determine down payment/financed amount
  • Find out important dates
  • Negotiate inclusions in home
  • Offer will be accepted, counter-offered, or declined

When Your Offer is Acccepted

You are almost there. Just a few more steps until closing:

  • Deliver earnest money
  • Inspection and repairs
  • Appraisal
  • Home insurance
  • Finalize mortgage details
  • Final walkthrough

Closing Cost Breakdown

These are the items that will be included in your closing costs:

  • Property appraisal
  • Home inspection
  • Processing fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Lender fee
  • Loan discount fee
  • Recording fee
  • Settlement officer fee
  • Title insurance
  • Document preparation fees
  • Escrow taxes and insurance
  • Prepaid interest
  • Credit report
  • Transfer taxes
  • Attorney/notary fee

Closing Day

This is the big day! We will accompany you to closing, answer any questions, and verify the closing paperwork matches the purchase contract. Important things to know:

  • Everyone who is purchasing the property must be present. If this is not possible, let us know in advance.
  • Bring your identification
  • You will need to bring a certified check or wire your down payment/closing costs.
Service First Real Estate Team, Puyallup, WA

Contact Our Team to Get Started

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Attention to detail – Joseph was looking at things that I wasn’t even aware of (like my wife coming home alone at night, area safety as my wife loves to jog and walk our dog, definitely made me look good!)

Jacob L.

Recent Home buyer