Monday, March 27, 2017 / by Ryan Fellows
There are several steps you can take to ensure that you know what you are doing heading in and you know what to expect during the process.
First time home buyers sometimes have difficulty throughout their buying process mainly due to the unknowns. It is always helpful to educate yourself before jumping into the exciting process of buying a home.
Here are 8 steps you can follow to purchase the next place you will call home.
1. Research Your Local Market
This means to know what is going on in the real estate world around you. Are you in a seller's market or a buyer's market? Are homes selling for full price or is the market in a decline and now is the time to buy? Also, get to know the different individual markets around you. Decide where you want to live. Decide what neighborhoods appeal to you and why? Do you need to stay in a particular school district? Do you need to lease a home, or purchase a condo? These are all questions you can ask yourself and answer before you step out into the world of real estate.
2. Determine What You Can Afford
This does not mean to know what you can be pre-approved for. That is the next step. This means that you take a serious look at what you can afford to pay monthly toward a mortgage loan. This is a personal value for you to go by of what your current income allows. This value will take into account what you spend on a monthly basis and what you have as a surplus to allocate toward a house payment.
3. Get Pre-approved
As opposed to determining what you can afford, this means that you are meeting with a mortgage lender and determining what they will approve you for. The mortgage lender will evaluate your debt to income ratio as well as your credit score to determine a value you can spend. This value in some cases, could be higher than what you feel comfortable spending, but remember, you are not required to use it all. You spend whatever you are comfortable spending.
4. Find An Agent
This step can really occur anywhere in the beginning stages of the process. A licensed real estate agent can assist you with each and every step along the way. However, knowing what you want and how much you want to spend is always helpful information to start with. Your Buyer's Agent will sit down with you, analyze your needs, help find you the perfect home, and continue with you throughout the remainder of the process.
5. Show For a Home
This can be the fun part! Once you have researched the market, decided where you want to live and what you want to spend, you get to look at real live homes! Viewing homes for sale can be the best part of the whole process. It can also really help you determine home characteristics that could be deal breakers when you are ready to write an offer
6. Make An Offer
Once you have found the perfect property, it is time to sit down with your real estate agent and put together an offer to present to the current home owner. Your agent can advise you through every step of what to offer and what to ask for. Be sure you go over every detail of the contracts to ensure that you get the home you love with the criteria you need.
During the closing process, there are several steps along the way that your agent, your mortgage lender, and the title company you have chosen, will walk you through. Everything from inspections, to appraisals, to title work will occur before you are ready to close.
8. Get the Keys to Your New Home
Get your writing-hand ready! Once all of the checkboxes have been checked, it is time to sign your name more times than you ever have before. You will sit down at the closing table with your agent and the title company and complete all of the paperwork. However, there is a prize you earn at the end of all of your hard work!....Keys to Your New Home (if that is what you have agreed upon with the seller :) )
Enjoy the process. It is one of the biggest steps you make as an adult and can be some of the scariest and exciting roads you take! Take it all in and remember it forever.
If you are selling, or thinking about selling your home, here are some other blog topics you may be interested in.