Homebuyer Resources2021-04-16T15:46:20-05:00

Homebuyer Resources

Purchasing a home is an exciting and sometimes terrifying time. We have compiled a list of resources for you to use when considering buying a home, actively in the process of buying, and when you are under contract.

Check out our frequently asked questions below, along with articles we have gathered to help you prepare to put your house on the market. If you have a questions that we haven’t answered, need help implementing suggestions, or just want to bounce ideas around, please reach out to us!

Common Homebuyer Questions

What should be my first step when interested in purchasing a house2021-04-14T20:13:16-05:00

The first thing to do when looking to purchase a house is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is helpful in determining your price range, programs available, down payment necessary, and most importantly shows potential sellers you are qualified and serious about buying. If you prefer to meet with the Sly team first and walk through the process of buying, we welcome the opportunity!

Need a lender referral? Tony and Angie can share preferred lenders!

How long does it take to purchase a home?2021-03-22T18:48:54-05:00

From accepted Purchase Agreement to closing day (possession) it takes an average of 45 days.

How much do I pay my agent to help me purchase my home?2021-03-22T18:49:26-05:00

The professional fee earned by your Realtor is generated by the seller of the house you purchase. That fee is shared between the listing agent and your realtor/buying agent.

How much do I need for a down payment?2021-04-08T19:33:03-05:00

Our parents had us thinking 20% was required. IT IS NOT! Some clients have purchased homes through grant programs with little or no money down. How much will you need? It’s a great question for a lender! There are different loan types and programs, each with specific requirements. We suggest having phone interviews with a few lenders to learn more about what fits your situation.

What kind of credit score do I need to purchase a home?2021-04-08T19:33:33-05:00

A FICO score of 620 or higher is required for most loan programs. It is not uncommon to find lenders who will approve buyers with scores less than that, however a higher down payment may be needed. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the lender and may not need as much for down payment.

What is earnest money?2021-04-08T19:34:03-05:00

Earnest money is a payment sent with an official offer to represent to the seller your genuine and serious about purchasing the house. We have seen earnest for $500 and in some situations in the thousands. Rest assured, the Sly team will guide you every step of the way. When your offer is accepted, earnest money will be deposited and credited to the purchase of your new home.

How long does a seller have to respond to my offer?2021-04-07T21:09:34-05:00

This number can vary and the timeframe should be stipulated in the offer. 

Do I need to arrange a home inspection?2021-02-27T22:22:03-05:00

Yes, absolutely! Many loan programs, like the FHA and VA loans, require a home inspection. However, even if it is not required by your lender it is still highly recommended because they can reveal easily overlooked defects in the house. A good home inspection will bring peace of mind to one of the largest investments of your lifetime.

Do I need to do a final walk-through?2021-03-22T18:53:57-05:00

We highly recommend it! This is an opportunity to assure nothing has changed in the house since the offer was accepted. It is also the prime time to confirm all repairs and replacements agreed upon on the Inspection Addendum were complete.

Moving Check Lists

Things To Do 6-8 Weeks Before Moving

– Begin to declutter and purge

– Begin sorting what will go to the new home

– Sell or donate items which will not be going

– Schedule a mover

– Get movers insurance

– Make arrangements for work and/childcare

Things To Do 4-6 Weeks Before Moving

– Notify utilities and other services (gas, electric, cable, garbage, newspaper)

– Change your address

– Get packing supplies

– Organize important documents and valuables

– Begin packing what can be

Things To Do Two Weeks Before Moving

– Confirm moving arrangements

– Pack an essentials box

– Change address at post office and forward mail to new address

Things To Do One Week Before Moving

– Refill any prescriptions

– Donate or toss unopened food items

– Make small repairs

– Deep cleaning

Things To Do On Moving Day

– Move!

– Protect your floors and carpet while moving

– Supervise the movers

– Do a final walkthrough

– Pay and tip your movers

– Unpack your essentials box

– Leave instructions for new owners

– Leave out any instruction manuals or warranty information

Things To Do After Moving

– Make sure your utilities are working

– Begin the unpacking process

– Meet your new neighbors

– Get to know your new neighborhood

– Confirm your new address (employer, bank, doctor, DMV, creditors, schools)

Local Services, Utilities and Schools


Altoona Post Office:515-967-5374

Ankeny Post Office: 515-963-8387

Beaverdale Post Office: 515-255-8593

Bondurant Post Office: 515-967-2266

Carlisle Post Office: 515-989-3352

Clive Post Office: 515-276-5894

Des Moines Post Office: 515-283-7714

Dallas Center Post Office: 515-992-3320

Grimes Post Office: 515-986-3460

Johnston Post Office: 515-334-0186

Norwalk Post Office: 515-981-5871

Pleasant Hill Post Office: 515-299-9275

Polk City Post Office: 515-984-6137

Urbandale Post Office: 515-334-5683

Waukee Post Office: 515-987-5409

West Des Moines Post Office: 515-255-6471

Windsor Heights Post Office: 515-279-4225

Century Link: 800-244-1111

DirectTv: 8​4​4​-​9​4​3​-​2​2​3​1​

MediaCom: 800-332-0245

Vonage: 866-243-4357

Ankeny Sanitation: 515-964-5229

Ankeny Water Works: 515.963.3565

Black Hills Energy: 800-890-5554

Dallas Center Utilities: 515-992-3725

Des Moines Water Works: 515.283.8700

Grimes Water Department: 515-986-3036

Metro Waste Authority: 515-244-0021

Mid American Energy: 888-427-5632

Norwalk Utilities: 515-981-0228

Urbandale Water Utility: 515-278-3940

Waste Management: 515-265-5267

Waukee Water Department: 515-978-7920

DART Bus Services: 515-283-8100

Iowa One Call– Before you Dig: 800-292-8989

We love teaching and sharing the knowledge we have gained over the years.

If you have any questions at all about home buying/selling or any other aspect of the real estate trade please do not hesitate to reach out.

Contact Us
Go to Top