Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s also one of the most exciting and rewarding. Owning a home can increase your wealth, build equity, and provide stability for your family. The process of buying a house can be intimidating as well, though. From searching for the right place to closing on the deal, it can be hard to know what to do or how to keep track of everything. We want to help you become a homeowner! Here are some helpful tips on how to buy a home.
The Process of Buying a House
The process of buying a house can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. To help you through the process, we’ve created a checklist of things to do.
Find the perfect home:
- Define your budget
- Get prequalified for a loan
- Search for homes on websites like Zillow or Redfin (or download an app!)
- Take note of what you need in a house
- Keep an open mind – it may take time to find the perfect place!
Get the money:
- Find out how much money you need and how much you can put down (lenders will want to see that you’re able to pay them back!)
- Talk with your family about getting loans together
Inspections and appraisals:
- Pick out three inspectors and set up appointments for each one
- Find two or three appraisers or brokers who work with banks and work with them now
Loan approval: If all goes well, your bank should approve your loan! But don’t worry if they don’t approve it – there are plenty of other lenders who might. Make sure that you have more than one option when looking for loans. Get quotes from different companies and compare their rates. Finally, once you find a lender that wants to give you money, get ready to close on the deal!
One of the first things you need to do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval ensures that you have the financial means to buy a house and can also be an indication to sellers that you are serious about buying their property. It will often give you an upper-hand in negotiating once you find your dream home.
Find Your Dream Home
One of the most important things to do when buying a home is finding the place you want. You want to make sure it’s in a location that you love and that you can afford. The best way to find your perfect place is to talk with a professional who knows the area well, like a real estate agent and do plenty of research online. Start by figuring out what type of home you want and then work with the agent to search for properties that come close to matching your needs.
If you are looking for an affordable starter home, keep in mind that there are neighborhoods with lower property values and less expensive homes than others. If space is on your top priority list, look into spacious suburban areas or townhouses near major highways. You may also be interested in purchasing a condo if you would like some amenities without having the hassle of maintaining your own yard or if you live in an urban area where parking spaces are limited; condos often have ample parking!
Choose the Right Neighborhood
One of the most important aspects of buying a home is deciding on the right neighborhood. Be sure to think about what you’re looking for in terms of lifestyle and amenities, whether you want to stay close to your work, or have access to excellent schools. Once you have an idea of what might be best for you, it will be easier to find a place that meets your needs.
Get the Inspection Done
Before you make an offer on a house, it’s important to know that the property is in good condition. Even though you might be excited about buying your first house, it can be heartbreaking when you find out that you have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs.
To avoid this predicament, get the inspection done from the beginning! This way, if there are any issues with the house, they will be revealed before you make an offer and sign a contract.
The inspection process can take about two hours and usually costs between $150-300. It’s worth it because it could save you money later on down the line!
Negotiate and Sign the Papers!
Once you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to negotiate with the seller and sign the papers. You will need to come up with a competitive offer that is within or below the asking price. Once you know what you can afford, it’s time to make an offer.
The next step is negotiating with the seller on different terms like mortgage rates, closing costs, and even repairs that need to be made before close of escrow. Be sure not to spend more than you can afford and get all agreements in writing so there are no surprises later on.
You will then go through a process called “due diligence” which allows both parties to investigate each other before signing any papers. You want to be sure that you are taking all of your due diligence steps before buying a home! If anything about the property or information about the seller doesn't feel right, don't buy! Make sure you have everything in writing and be sure to follow your due diligence, because once this deal closes there is no turning back!
Buying a house is an exciting time. You can finally have that place you’ve always wanted. But before you start shopping, it’s important to know the process. Doing so will save you from a lot of headaches and make the process of buying your new home as easy and fun as possible.