First Time Homebuyer

Is buying a home the right choice for you, is it financially realistic, and, if so, what steps will you need to take?

Your Pathway to Home Ownership is Here
Buying your first home is a life-changing decision and significant investment. You may have questions about the overall process or the best place to start. You may wonder how long it will take or what paperwork you’ll need to provide. We’re here to make the experience more manageable and help you become an informed borrower.

Shopping for your first home can be exciting – but finding the right financing can be daunting. With Comerica, it doesn't have to be. We’ll help you understand and navigate the homebuying process, start to finish.

If you're ready to consider buying a new home, we're ready to help you make decisions, find the financing that fits your unique situation and show you how you might get an edge over other buyers.

This overview takes you through the homebuying and mortgage experience so you know what’s to come.

For a more detailed explanation, visit a Comerica banking center or call an experienced Comerica Mortgage Loan Consultant at 800.867.5188. We can answer any questions you have, every step of the way.

Knowing what you can afford is an important first step on your road to home ownership. Key costs to consider are:

  • The down payment: This is the part of the property purchase price paid in cash and not financed with a mortgage. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments.
  • Closing costs: Due at closing, these cover expenses that complete the transfer of ownership – such as an origination fee, attorney's fee, initial escrow payments and the costs of obtaining title insurance and a survey. Closing costs are typically based on the home price and vary according to location.
  • Monthly payments: These are based on both the principal (the amount of the loan) and interest (the amount you pay to borrow money, calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed). They may also include money held in escrow for taxes, homeowners’ insurance and mortgage insurance.
  • Additional expenses: Utilities, insurance and homeowners’ association dues, and property management fees are other costs to consider in your budget.

These expenses may vary, depending on the loan options you choose. An affordability calculator may help you determine the amount you can afford – and feel comfortable spending.

Once you have an idea of what you can afford, speak with one of our Mortgage Loan Consultants who will help you find a financing option that’s right for you. Visit a Comerica banking center or Call


Obtaining a loan is typically a big part of the experience for first-time homebuyers – but the process can require high credit scores and a lot of documentation. It's best to obtain a pre-qualification decision before you start house hunting, as it will allow you to search with the confidence of knowing the amount you can borrow.

A pre-qualification decision can make your homebuying experience easier. A pre-qualification is a preliminary evaluation of your financial status that does not include a commitment to giving you a loan. If you receive a loan pre-qualification decision, we'll fax or email a letter with your loan amount so you can start house hunting right away. In fact, many real estate agents will ask you to get a pre-qualification letter first so they can show you homes that suit your budget. With the letter to back up your bids, you can stay focused on finding your first home.

We're at your service and available to answer any questions. Submitting complete, accurate and legible documentation helps to speed the process – and we can help keep you on track.

Once you find the home you want, your real estate agent can provide you with a list of comparable homes (known as “comps”) recently sold in the area. Comps help you determine how much to offer; but before you decide on the amount, consider such important factors as how much you can afford, the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections and more.

Any offer you make could become legally binding, so we strongly recommend consulting with your real estate agent before committing.

Make sure your offer contains provisions for an inspection by an accredited home inspector and outlines actions to address any issues that may arise. The inspection should cover interior and exterior structural elements, as well as heating/cooling, electrical and plumbing systems. It is strongly recommended that you be present during the inspection so you can use it as a time to ask questions and learn about the property.

The loan commitment takes place once the loan and the property are approved. These steps include appraising the home to make sure it meets certain guidelines and conducting a title search to ensure there are no outstanding liens on the property.

At the closing, you and the seller transfer funds and sign all applicable paperwork to finalize the transaction. Real estate agents, closing agents, attorneys and mortgage and title representatives may also be present.

Our Mortgage Loan Consultant will help you prepare for closing, which includes providing you with an estimate of any fees due at the closing.

Once all parties sign the papers and fees are paid, you'll get the keys to your new home.

Let's start NOW!

Comerica will help you on your way home, every step of the way.
Talk with one of our experienced Mortgage Loan Consultants at your nearest banking center or call