Buying a home can be a daunting experience without the right experience and know-how! This real estate buyers guide is intended to help get you started on your journey to owning your dream home. You will find everything you need to get started and understand the steps it takes to making your real estate dreams a reality. If you need any further help on your buying journey, I am always here to guide you and answer all your questions.
Step 1: Research in advance
Search my website as often as you prefer and get an idea of availability and pricing. Make a list of your criteria and determine which ones are “must have”.
Step 2: Affordability
Know your comfort zone and how much you want your monthly payment to be. Also keep in mind that a down payment will make a difference in your payment. Check out my mortgage calculator to Learn More.
Step 3: Get Pre-qualified and pre-approved with a lender
Before you start to physically look for homes you will need to get in touch with a lender to see what you actually qualify for. They will ask for some things such as W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, bank account statements, etc.
Some lenders have it set up so you can fill out an online application. Ask your lender if you will need a down payment or if you qualify for a program. If you’re not sure, ask your lender. There are many available for first time buyers, veterans and more. Ask ask ask!! You might be surprised at what’s available.
Step 4: Shop for homes and make the offer!
Start touring homes in your price range. Take notes, make a list of pros and cons. Take pictures, measurements and anything needed. Take notes of details about plumbing, electrical, functionality of doors and windows. Check out the neighborhood. Distance to and from work, shopping, schools. Take your time, don’t get in a hurry and pay attention to detail. Don’t forget about taxes and HOA dues, check with the lender to see if you are within your means. When you are ready, make that offer. Keep in mind if you were the seller, how would you feel about the same offer on your house. Of course everyone wants a bargain but be reasonable when making an offer.
Step 5: Inspection and Appraisal!
For your protection, get that inspection!! Inspections are not mandatory but they are highly recommended. It also helps you to negotiate a better deal if something is in need of repair. Keep in mind when purchasing an older home, it is not going to be a perfect house and some repairs might be needed.
Lenders will then arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Step 6: Closing day!
On closing day you will sign all of the paperwork in front of a notary. Most lenders will fund the same day. Once it funds, you can have the keys and access to your new home.
Congratulations on your new home!