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Santa Fe Homebuying Process

Step 1: Know your budget

Use a mortgage calculator to better understand what exactly you'd be paying on a month-to-month basis for homes at different prices. Be sure to factor in things like taxes and HOA fees.

Click here to use a mortgage calculator.

Step 2: Identify the home you want to purchase

Your Santa Fe buyer's broker (Charles) will become your best friend. He will identify properties that meet your criteria, show you select properties before they hit the open market, and schedule showings of any property you'd like to see.

Buyers brokers see hundreds (or thousands) of homes in the Santa Fe market through the course of the year, and they know the red flags to look for.

Step 3: Connect with a mortgage broker to get pre-qualified

Start an application with a lender so you can get your pre-qualification letter, which you will need to place an offer on a home.

Fill out an application here for a loan from Union Home Mortgage.

Complete this step before you send your documents to down payment assistance programs like the Santa Fe Housing Trust because you can use your credit check information from the lender to send to the Housing Trust (but not the other way around).

Contact Hannah Nowers if you have any issues or questions about the loan application process.

Step 4: Get down payment assistance if needed

Work with the Santa Fe Housing Trust or Homewise to get downpayment assistance. It is important to note that down payment assistance typically does not come in the form of a grant (which you do not have to repay).

Most often, down payment assistance means that you will get a second mortgage, typically maxing out at around $60k, which you will then have to repay on a monthly basis. This monthly payment will be factored into your expected mortgage costs and be a determining factor in the price of the home you can purchase.

Step 5: Place an offer

Santa Fe is a highly competitive market, so it's important to work with your broker to strategize about how you are going to make an offer. Many properties receive multiple offers, and there is a chance that your offer will be rejected.

You have the option to make a counteroffer or walk away.

If your offer is accepted and you indicated that you were making an earnest money deposit, you will need to write a check within a day or so of acceptance. Earnest money is a deposit you'll make toward the purchase of the house. It usually goes into an escrow account, and when the sale goes through, most buyers use it as part of their cash to close.

Step 6: Get your mortgage

Now you'll choose a lender to get a mortgage from (you can go with a lender that preapproved you, or start fresh with a different one). Even with an online-first lender, you'll often work closely with a loan officer to complete the actual application.

This is a paperwork-heavy process. Here's what you're likely to need:

  • W-2 forms from the past two years (possibly more, if you've changed employers).

  • Pay stubs from the past 30 to 60 days.

  • Proof of other sources of income (including documentation of any gift money).

  • Federal income tax returns from the past two years.

  • Recent bank statements (usually for the last couple of months).

  • Details on long-term debts like car or student loans.

  • ID and Social Security number.

Once your mortgage application is complete, you'll go into underwriting. During this process, the lender makes a final decision on whether to give you the loan — it's basically making sure there's not anything about the deal that's just too risky.

Underwriting includes digging deep into your finances, so you may need to come up with even more documents. The lender will also look at the home you've chosen via an appraisal (see Step 13 below) and request a title search.


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