Seven Step Home Buying Guide

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen it comes to buying a home, you don’t want to rush into it. You need to really make a solid decision that will payoff  for you in the long run. If you are a couple, then buying a home needs to be a join decision every step of the way. These steps will help to make that process inviting, progressive, and get you the home that you can afford and that you love.

Step 1: What are you Interested in?

[imageframe style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”#ebeaea” bordersize=”2px” align=”left”]checklist[/imageframe]Make a list of what your home absolutely must have. For example, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms. Next, make a list of wants that you would love to see it include but that you can do without as long as all of the needs are met by a given home.

What type of home do you want? Are you interested in a home out in the country or one in the city? Would you be happy to own a condo? There are pros and cons of each so take the time to do some investigating.

What is the housing marketing like? Are there lots of options on the market right now which makes it a buyer’s market? If there aren’t too many choices, then it is a seller’s market. This will influence your offer and even how much time you take to consider a home before you make an offer on it.

Step 2: Finding a Real Estate Agent

Don’t try to buy a home on your own as it is very complex and time consuming. You don’t want to be scammed either. You will be much better off working with a real estate agent that knows the ins and outs of the business. They can answer your questions, talk to you about what you are looking for, and assist you with finding a home that meets your needs and fits into your budget. They can do the leg work so you can just focus on checking out the homes they refer you to.

A real estate agent can help you to find all of the professionals you need such as an inspector and an appraiser. They can also negotiate the terms of the contract with the seller on your behalf. They understand all of the paperwork that has to be done and they can guide you through that process. They can also go over the contract with you so that you feel confident about what you are signing.

Step 3: Financing

If you already have money saved up to pay for a home, you are well ahead of the game. Most people don’t though, and they will need to finance the majority of the purchase. How much money do you have saved for a down payment? Traditionally, many loans ask you to pay 20% of the purchase price. There are various types of loans though that don’t require that much down. Your real estate agent can help you to determine if you qualify for them. They can also point you in the right direction of some top notch trusted lenders to consider working with.

Getting pre-approved helps you to see what your rate of interest will be on the loan. It also means you don’t have to be on pins and needles when you find a home. You will already know that you can secure the money to buy it. Once the pre-approval is done, you will be able to determine how much of a home you can afford.

Share that information with your real estate agent. It will help that individual to narrow down the homes they refer you to. Make sure you carefully look at your budget before you just go with the dollar amount the lender approved you for. If you feel that you can’t easily afford the monthly payment on the home then you need to find a lower priced home or reduce your spending.

Step 4: Finding the Home

Your real estate agent will go through the listings and find potential home that fit your budget and your requirements. They will also alert you when new homes are added to the market. You can see photos of them, watch video tours, and schedule a walk through when you are ready. You can also look around on your own by going to open houses and looking at for sale by owner signs.

Your real estate agent can still assist you with all of the process even if they aren’t the agency that the home is listed under. When you look at a home, survey the neighborhood very carefully., You want to buy a home in a safe location where you will feel comfortable. When you do a walk through, be very particular about things. Turn on faucets, flush the toilets, look at storage space, etc.

Step 5: Make an Offer

[imageframe style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”#d3d3d3″ bordersize=”2px” align=”right”]buy a home[/imageframe]When you find the home that you love, it is in your price range, and you are happy with where it is located, let your real estate agent know. You may wish to walk through it several times before you are secure enough with it to make an offer. They can help you with creating your offer. They can help you to negotiate too if you need to offer a lower price than they are asking. The seller can accept it, decline it, and even come back with a  counter offer.

The offer needs to be very specific too if there is anything that needs to be replaced or repaired along with the purchase of the home. The offer also needs to be contingent upon final financial approval, appraisal, and an independent inspection of the property by a professional that you hire. The offer may go back and forth several times before the final negotiations are completed and both parties are willing to sign it.

Step 6: Closing

There will be a date set for the closing of the loan to occur. There will be closing costs that are part of this, and usually the buyer will pay them. If the seller has agreed to pay them or to pay a portion of them, it should be in the contract as well. Closing costs may be able to be added into your loan so consider that if you can’t come up with all the money for it. The closing will also include the date when you can take possession of the home.

Step 7: Moving

It is going to be very exciting to count down the days until you can move into the home you purchased! Packing what you can now will help you to cut down on the rush when the day gets closer. Properly label all boxes too. If you will be hiring a moving company, start looking at your options so that you get everything squared away with them well in advance.

Notify your post office a week before you move so that your mail can be properly forwarded. Talk to the utility and cable companies so that they can have everything hooked up at the new location for the day you are to move in. You may want to hire a locksmith to come over that day and change all of the locks on the home for you.