I bought a house when I moved to Des Moines, Iowa. I started the process by obtaining a Realtor. The Realtor first gave me a general tour of Des Moines so that I could learn the neighborhoods and then determine where I wanted to live.
After I had picked out my neighborhood, the Realtor showed me houses that were available for sale. I must have looked at around 100 houses over a period of several weeks.
Finally, I found the perfect house. A beautiful colonial listed at $189,000. I made an offer of $175,000. After going back and forth a few times we settled on $182,000.
The next step in the process was the home inspection. That went fine with only a few minor plumbing issues. I asked the seller to fix them and they agreed.
At the same time I was dealing with the inspection, I was also trying to settle my financing. I talked to several banks, but settled with one that offered me the best interest rate.
The interest rate was 4.75% for a 30 year fixed loan. I had to give them a ton of paperwork including bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. It then took another 6 weeks for them to close my loan.
After that I went to the title office and spent about an hour signing papers. They handed me the keys and the house was mine!
It was an interesting process to say the least! But well worth the effort.