Do your Homework
When buying a home, the first thing to do is make a list of priorities. Ask yourself questions about which location, cities or areas you’d like to live in. Do those areas have good school systems and nearby parks? Is it a community oriented location? Then ask yourself what qualities you’d like in your new home. Determine what characteristics your future house must have, what features aren’t necessary, and what traits you cannot have in your new home.
After you’ve made your list, go over your budget and figure out what you can afford to spend on a home. You can easily find your ideal price range by using an online loan calculator. Then research sale prices in your preferred area to see if those homes are affordable to you. If not, then you may need to re-prioritize your list to fit more in your comfort zone. If the areas you are looking at fit within your comfort zone, then the next step is to become pre-approved.
Start Saving and get Pre-Approved
Begin to get things in order by starting to save for a down payment on a home. Some home loans may not require a down payment but saving up for one is a good idea regardless. If your home loan does not require a down payment then extra finances can assist in payments to your loan or be used in case of emergencies.
After building a down payment, become pre-approved. Seek out a professional lender and become pre-approved to buy a home. This means you will have a price range you qualify for and the lender pre-approves you to be able to buy a home within that range.
Using professionals when buying a home protects you as a buyer and ensures you receive everything you are entitled to in the buying process. Professional real estate agents work for you and know what to look for in home contracts, protecting you from fine print. They can also negotiate on your behalf on pricing or contact agreements.
Find an agent, whom you trust, is easy to speak with and who is very professional. When you find your agent, provide them with your list of priorities and show them the pre-approval letter from your lender. This helps your agent look for a home that fits your requirements.
Begin the Search
You probably shouldn’t see more than 7 houses in one day. Anything more will cause information overload and you will not enjoy the browsing experience. When you get a chance to see the house for yourself, be sure to look for any defects in the houses you’re viewing and to ask your agent any questions you may have.
If you find your dream home, do not keep looking. Continuing to look will only waste time. Give yourself a day to think it over and then go back to your top two potential homes. If you are still in love with “The One” then you are ready to move onto the next step.
Make an Offer
In many cases, offers come below the home’s listed cost. If you are looking to build and were looking at a model home, the cost of the home is pretty set and is available for upgrades in a design center. Your agent will know what to look for and can officially make the offer for you and initiate the paperwork.
Once your offer has been approved, acquiring insurance is a smart move. There are many types of insurances including homeowners, flood and warranties insurances. This will protect you in case anything happens and it is a good idea to get insurance before closing so that when the home is signed over to you, it is already protected.
Insurance is also required by your lender, so be sure to look at your lenders requirements when choosing your policies.
Close the Loan
This is a brief process where all the necessary paperwork needed to complete the purchase takes place. Once all the documents are signed, and funding goes through, the home buyer becomes the home owner and is given the keys to their new home.
Now that you own your home, be sure to know the proper care and maintenance it may require. Be sure to take photos and videos of your items for insurance reasons and enjoy settling into your new house.