The Ultimate Home Buying Checklist

Posted by David Ellis on Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 12:54pm.

So, you're thinking of buying a home in St. George, Utah?


Southern Utah is home to some of the world's most stunning national parks, beautiful sunshine and, in our humble opinion, some pretty fantastic real estate.

While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of purchasing a home, there are certain steps homebuyers must take before officially beginning their search.

We've done the work for you and prepared an essential home buying checklist to consider prior to beginning your property search.


1. Gather Essential Documents

First things first, there are many essential documents one must have prepared when considering purchasing a home.

While we sometimes might wish we could waltz into the home of our dreams and declare it ours, it's never this straightforward.

The fact is, prospective buyers need to have proper documentation in place before even considering purchasing a home. This will help determine what type of mortgage you can afford when you begin your property search.

Yes, this is not exactly the fun part, but it's an essential part of the process before the real fun begins.

What types of documents should you have prepared?

  • Credit Score
  • Proof of Income
  • Pay Stubs
  • Tax Returns
  • Debts
  • Assets
  • Earnings Outside of Regular Job

This is only a sample of the documents that may be required. At the minimum, it's best to have these documents readily available prior to meeting with your mortgage professional. 

2. Speak with a Mortgage Professional

There's no sense lusting after properties that are priced at over 1 million when all you can only afford up to three-quarters of that. Talking with a mortgage professional before you begin your property search is the best way to ensure you are not setting yourself up for disappointment.

This is where the above documents come into play. After reviewing your documentation, the mortgage professional will be able to give you a price range as to what you can afford.

They will be able to help explain all of the confusing terms and options that are associated with mortgages and home ownership. They will also outline other essential information such as how much you would require for a down payment, monthly mortgage payments, interest, etc.

Before visiting a mortgage professional, you can use our mortgage calculator to give you a very basic and generalized idea of what you may be able to afford. 

3. Choose The Right Realtor®

Choosing the right Realtor® to represent you in your sale is essential.

After all, this is more than likely one of the biggest investments you'll make in your lifetime. Think of your Realtor® as your coach throughout the entire process.

Your Realtor® should be available and knowledgeable in seamlessly guiding you throughout the entire process. Opt for a Realtor® that is an expert in their field. If you are buying a home in St. George, Utah, your Realtor® should know the local market inside and out and be an expert negotiator.

Is the home listed way over market value and the buyers could be overpaying? Does the home you love happen to reside in a poor school district? Does the basement have a faint smell of mold? 

These are all significant factors in purchasing a home and it is vital to have a Realtor® that thoroughly understands these factors.

4. Select Your Neighborhood(s)

Now onto the fun parts! This is where our home buying checklist gets a little more exciting.

It's officially time to decide which neighborhood in Southern Utah is right for you.

We've all heard the age-old real estate phrase "location, location, location!" and, well, there's a reason for that. The fact is, when you purchase a home, you are also purchasing the surrounding neighborhood in which the home resides.

Property values are heavily based on the neighborhood in which they reside and, ultimately, some neighborhoods appreciate in value higher than others. This is especially important when it comes to your home's future resale value.

Southern Utah is a big area. And, so, before you start browsing properties online, it's best to determine which neighborhood(s) you are most interested in.

Are you considering the beautiful and picturesque St. George? Or, how about somewhere with lush state parks and golf courses like Ivins? Zoning in on specific neighborhoods will help both yourself and your Realtor® find your dream home more efficiently. 

5. Determine Property Type

Southern Utah is home to a variety of different property types.

Are you looking for a fixer-upper? Or, how about a turn-key home that's ready the minute you walk through the door? What do you think about a detached home versus a townhome? Or, are you looking for something with a little less maintenance and a condo might suit you best?

This is a major factor on your home buying checklist and it's important this is determined prior to beginning your search.

Have your Realtor® explain to you the pros and cons associated with the many different types of properties available. While a condominium may require less maintenance, are you prepared to pay the monthly HOA fees associated with condo ownership? A townhome may save you some cash, but are you willing to deal with a potentially loud and disruptive neighbor?

These are all important factors that must be considered.

Once you've determined which type of home best suits your needs, your Realtor® can begin sending you listings that match these criteria. 

6. Create a List of Wants vs. Needs

The fun continues!

Do you need an enclosed garage? Would you like be within an hour's drive to Las Vegas? You might want an extra bedroom for the in-laws, but is a property without this extra bedroom a total dealbreaker?

It's important to create a list of what is most important to you in your future home. As with most things in life, prepare for the fact that it might be difficult to find a home that checks each and every box on your list.

When it comes to such significant factors, it's best to be aware and upfront from the start with expressing your essential needs and essential dealbreakers.

If you're certain that you need a home with at least two acres, be upfront with your Realtor® about this so as to not waste time. This can help your Realtor® eliminate potential listings more efficiently and save time for both parties. 

You've Made It Through Our Home Buying Checklist!

Hey, you got through the home buying checklist and made it to the end!

We know reading these steps can be a little intimidating, but now you're officially prepared to find your dream home. It looks like the only thing standing between you and your dream home in Southern Utah is you!

How can we help you in your search for a home today? Contact us to schedule a face-to-face meeting or phone call to talk further!

Happy house hunting! 

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