April 12th, 2019 4:39 PM by Cheryl Redfearn
Buying a house is a huge event in a person’s life. A house is not only a serious investment, but also a place that’s all your own. Although, the homebuying process can potentially seem scary and complicated! Even second-time buyers can struggle with the process. However, buying a house doesn't have to be overwhelming. Just follow these steps and don't forget, I'm always ready to help you!
Get Your Down Payment Together
The first step is saving your money for a down payment. There are lots of different financing options when buying a home, and different loan programs available for different situations. Ideally, you'd like to have a good amount to put towards a downpayment if possible. Of course, the most logical thing to do is discuss your options with a lender and ask lots of questions.
Getting pre-qualified is the first step in the mortgage process. All you need to do is set up a meeting with a bank or lender to discuss your finances: assets, debt, income, and credit score. After a quick evaluation, which can be done over the phone or online, then the lender can give you an estimate of the mortgage amount you may receive.
This first step in the mortgage process is easy, and usually free, but is just an estimate of what you might expect to get. However, getting pre-qualified is important because you can also speak with a lender about your needs, questions, and goals.
After a pre-qualification, the next step is getting pre-approved. You will have to go through an official mortgage application which will have an application fee. Then, your lender goes through an extensive financial background check. Once this process is done, you will have a much better idea of the interest rate you will be charged.
Getting both pre-qualified and pre-approved is crucial before you start looking for your home. You will save a lot of valuable time searching for a home in your known budget, rather than searching for homes you think you might be able to afford.
Decide on Location
When choosing a home, a lot goes into picking a location. What exactly are you looking for? Closeness to your job? Do you want your kids to be in a certain school district? Maybe you want to be somewhere quieter as opposed to a big busy street. There are tons of things to think about, especially if you plan on being in this house for quite a while.
Pick a Type of Home
Depending on where you are exactly, there are many different types of properties out there: condo, town house, patio home, duplex, one story, two story, new construction, and much more. Narrowing down those choices before meeting with a real estate agent will make the process faster. Find out what exactly you need from your home. Are you raising a family? Just need a place to stay in-between travel? Then, learn about the various types of homes to find one that best fits your needs.
Find a Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent will be an expert in the area and know the local market. Once you explain what you're looking for and your budget, an agent will take you to the homes that fit your criteria. The right real estate agent will also be able to answer any questions and make your home search less stressful. I'd love to be the agent you choose!
Find "The One"
The house search can sometimes be tough, even with a great agent by your side. Most likely, the first place you see will not be your perfect dream house with every feature you want, for a price lower than you expected. I'm not saying it never happens, it's just uncommon. Sometimes you'll have to make sacrifices (hopefully on small things) and remember that there's a lot you can do to really make a home your own.
Make an Offer
Once you find the house you've been looking for, we'll work with you to decide on an offer that makes sense. We'll then create a contract, and the terms the buyer will need to meet to complete the transaction. We'll ensure all the contracts and legal matters are resolved.
Secure a Mortgage
When your offer is approved you will need to secure your mortgage. If you have been pre-approved and pre-qualified then your mortgage application process should be pretty quick.
Get an Inspection
Now, you need to have the property inspected by a professional home inspector. Your real estate agent works with many inspectors and will direct you to one to check over the property. An inspector will check for problems within the home including: foundation, plumbing, roof, and much more. Hiring an inspector is very important.
Homeowners insurance will protect your property in the event of fire, thefts, and various liabilities.
Title insurance is something all buyers should also take into consideration. This insurance will protect you from financial losses from defects in the property. Of course, this is something you'll want to discuss with an insurance professional.
Close the Deal
Your real estate agent will work with you to make sure all necessary documents have been signed. Mostly, the closing consists of closing costs and fees, but once you have paid the fees you are officially a homeowner!
I have experience as a local real estate agent and I'd love to help you buy a home. I know my experience, knowledge, and expertise will be a big benefit to you throughout the whole process.
Please contact us with any questions you have.