Buying a home? Here's what you need to know.

Follow these five steps before move-in day

23 Apr 2019

Buying a home is a big decision, and it's one you might make more than once during your lifetime. It's also a decision that shouldn't be made on impulse. Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced home purchaser, this five-step checklist will help you get financially ready to begin the purchase process.

1. Discuss your home-buying plans with a financial professional

Buying a home can impact your entire financial plan. That's why you should talk with your UBS Financial Advisor and UBS Bank USA Wealth Management or Private Mortgage Banker1 before you move forward to help determine if buying the home you have in mind makes sense for you. 

Because mortgages happen to be heavily regulated and a Financial Advisor is typically not licensed to discuss specific mortgage products, your UBS Financial Advisor will engage a NMLS licensed UBS Bank USA Wealth Management or Private Mortgage Banker to discuss your specific mortgage options.

"We can look at the numbers with you and help you figure out what's realistic while considering your other financial goals," says Sheree Woods, Senior Wealth Management Banker for the Carolinas/Virginia and Atlanta Markets at UBS Bank USA.

And once you are ready to apply for a mortgage, your UBS Bank USA Private Mortgage Banker will take your application and guide you through the mortgage loan process from start to finish.

2. Choose a down payment option

Your UBS Bank USA Wealth Management or Private Mortgage banker (who has insight into your specific home purchase) and your UBS Financial Advisor (who has insight into your overall wealth management goals) can help you determine a suitable avenue for structuring your down payment, including your down payment amount, based on your unique needs.

For example, let's say you want to explore alternatives for a cash down payment. One option for you to consider may be pledging eligible securities or using a UBS Bank USA securities-backed line of credit2, which may enable you to satisfy your down payment without tapping into your cash reserves. 

"Whether you love the idea of financing as much as possible or don't want to borrow one dime more than you need, you have options," says Woods.

It's important to note that market fluctuations can impact pledged securities and a default on the mortgage loan could result in the loss of the home and pledged securities. Because securities are exposed to market risk, including the potential of a margin call, securities-backed financing may not be suitable for everyone or appropriate for everyone's needs. Your UBS Financial Advisor will discuss all initial down payment options available to you and will advise of the benefits and risks associated with each strategy to help you determine a suitable path forward.

3. Identify funds for your closing costs

Buying a home always involves closing costs. Examples may include origination fees, title search and insurance, recording costs and transfer taxes. How much you'll need to close depends in part on the property's location and your loan size.

Knowing the county or zip code where you want to buy can be helpful when it's time to estimate your closing costs.

After you apply for your mortgage, you will receive a formal Loan Estimate that explains your closing costs and how much cash you'll need to close.

4. Thaw your credit files

Many people opt to lock or freeze their credit files to help protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. That can be a smart move, but when you want to buy a home, you'll have to unlock or unfreeze your files so your lender can access your credit history.

Each of the three main credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—maintain separate procedures to unlock or unfreeze your file. If you're not sure how to get this going, your UBS Financial Advisor or UBS Bank USA Wealth Management or Private Mortgage Banker can walk you through the necessary steps.

5. Get pre-approved for your financing

Once you've discussed your plan with your UBS Financial Adviser and UBS Bank USA Wealth Management or Private Mortgage Banker, it's time to apply for a mortgage. 

It's at this point that you may want to consider obtaining a pre-approval because it will give you an idea as to what type of loan amount and payment you qualify for and are comfortable with as you embark on the search for the home of your dreams. 

A pre-approval may also provide a seller with the reassurance that a bank has reviewed and pre-approved your income, assets and credit, which may lead to the perception that you are more serious about your offer than another buyer who has not initiated these steps with a lender. A pre-approval helps you show a seller that you're ready and able to move forward.

Follow these steps to help you be on your way to buying a home that's a great fit for you.

Connect with your UBS Financial Advisor

To discuss how you can pursue what matters most.


1 UBS Private Mortgage Bankers and Wealth Management Bankers are employees of UBS Bank USA and are individually registered in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS).  UBS Financial Advisors are employees of UBS Financial Services Inc.

2 Borrowing using securities as collateral involves special risks, is not suitable for everyone and may not be appropriate for your needs. All loans are subject to credit approval, margin requirements, and margin call and other risks; credit lines may be subject to breakage fees. For a full discussion of the risks associated with borrowing using securities as collateral, review the Loan Disclosure Statement included in your application package/account opening package.  UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS-FS) and its Financial Advisors have a financial incentive to recommend the use of securities backed loans, rather than the sale of securities to meet cash needs because we receive compensation related to the loan as well as the investments used to secure the loan.  We benefit if you draw down on your loan to meet liquidity needs rather than sell securities or other investments, and have a financial incentive to recommend products or manage an account in order to maximize the amount of the loan.  UBS-FS and its Financial Advisors and employees offer banking and lending products to clients through our affiliates and third-party banks in our capacity as a broker-dealer and not as an investment adviser.

UBS Bank USA, UBS-FS, their employees and affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice. You should contact your personal tax and/or legal advisors regarding their particular situations, including the legal and tax implications of borrowing using securities as collateral for a loan.

All residential mortgage products are only offered by UBS Bank USA, Member FDIC, NMLS No. 947868. All loans are subject to underwriting, credit and property approval. Please note that not all mortgage products are available in all states, or for all loan amounts. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. UBS Bank USA currently offers residential mortgage loans within the 50 states of the United States of America and the District of Columbia.

UBS Financial Services and its Financial Advisors do not take mortgage loan applications, do not offer mortgage loans and do not negotiate terms of mortgage loans.

UBS Financial Services is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Equal Opportunity Lender. Equal Housing Lender.

The views expressed in the materials provided do not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, investment strategies, financial situation and needs of any specific individuals. They are based on numerous assumptions. Different assumptions could result in materially different results. We recommend that you obtain financial and/or tax advice as to the implications (including tax) prior to investing.

UBS Financial Services Inc. is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment adviser and a broker-dealer. UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico is registered as a broker-dealer.

As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services. Advisory services and brokerage services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. It is important that you carefully read the agreements and disclosures UBS provides to you about the products or services offered. For more information, please visit our website at

Review Code: IS1901740
Expiration: 4/30/2020