Congratulations on making the decision to buy a house! If you’re anything like 99.9% of the population, chances are you’re a bit nervous and confused about everything the home buying process entails. Before you embark on this new adventure, you might be wondering how much you qualify for, how much you should put down, and where you should begin. To make this process easy for you, I’m going to walk you through the 9-step process of buying a house.
Buying a house is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, but it’s more than just finding a new place to live. You’re making an important investment, so it’s important to be familiar with everything the process entails. Once you have all the information you need, you’ll be ready to act fast when a great deal comes along.
Step 1: Choose A Real Estate Professional
Think of your realtor as the quarterback of your team—they’re the player you need to choose first to score the winning goal. Make sure to take the time to sit down and interview prospective agents. Have them explain the home buying process to you and ask them any pertinent questions you have. It’s also essential that your personalities don’t clash: do you really want to spend a ton of time with someone that rubs you the wrong way? Finding the best fit will make sure that you can easily go to your agent with questions and concerns through the homebuying process.
Step 2: Find A Lender
Regardless of who you’re banking with, you’re going to want to choose the lender that will give you the best deal. Work with your real estate agent to get advice, and take advantage of their experience. As you would when buying a car or getting insurance, you’ll want to shop around, compare rates, and request quotes when choosing who to take out a loan with.
Step 3: Get Preapproved
Preapproval will allow you to know how much money you have to work with before you start shopping. Your lender will base their preapproval on a variety of factors, such as your credit score and income. When you receive your preapproval letter, you’ll know the maximum amount that your lender will allow you to borrow.
Step 4: Determine Your Wants And Needs
It’s important to remember that just because you’re preapproved for a specific amount doesn’t mean that you should spend that much. Determining your budget should include taxes, insurance, your mortgage, and any other fees you’d need to pay monthly. Once you have a monthly housing payment you’re comfortable with, you’ll have a better time assessing your wants vs your needs.
If there’s something a property doesn’t have that would make you turn around and walk away from a showing, that’s a need. If you were still willing to see the rest of the house anyway, that item would be a want. Knowing these things will help you navigate the next step of the process.
Step 5: Shop For Homes
Now that all of these preliminary decisions have been made, it’s time for the fun part: shopping for your dream home! With your preapproval letter in hand, your monthly housing budget determined, and your wants and needs clarified, you’re ready to start scheduling showings. As you tour properties, use your gut to identify that this is the one feeling. It might surprise you went it happens, but having done your homework ahead of time will prepare you to act quickly if necessary.
Step 6: Submit An Offer
Regardless of whether it’s the first or tenth house you’ve seen, you’ll need to submit an offer when you find a home you love. This is where your realtor will be vital in securing you the best deal. Your agent can assess the property and its market time to make sure you don’t overpay, while also translating the legalese of any needed documents. Working together, you and your agent will also be able to calculate an estimated monthly payment based on your offer. If this fits in with your monthly housing budget, you can send your offer through and hope for the best.
Negotiations can be anxiety-inducing for some. Allow yourself some room to breathe and be patient with the process. Having a good real estate agent in your corner can assure you that things are being taken care of, and they’ll do everything they can to get your offer accepted.
Step 7: Do Your Due Diligence On The Home
When your offer gets accepted, it’s an exciting time—but there’s still a bit of work ahead. It’s absolutely essential that you do your due diligence on the property. This basically means that you have an inspector come in to make sure you know everything about the property and what you’re really buying. Since most people spend an average of only 15 minutes inside a home before making the decision to buy, it’s vital that you bring in a professional to catch what you missed.
An inspection will include checks on the plumbing, electrical and main features of the home. The inspector will alert you to any issues that may need to be addressed. Your realtor can then negotiate with the seller to either fix the problems themselves or provide you with a credit for any needed repairs.
Step 8: Get An Appraisal
Though you’ve already been preapproved for your loan amount, your lender will want to make sure the home is actually worth what you’re paying for it. Your realtor will help you with this process, which will wrap up your financing and give you a firm offer on your new house.
Step 9: Closing!
Congratulations, you’re about to get your keys! There’s are a few things you’ll need to get done before you’re an official homeowner. You’ll need to get all the utilities transferred into your name, and a final walkthrough will be done of the property. You’ll also need to sign a variety of documents with the attorneys and bank, which your realtor will be there to walk you through. When everything is complete, you’ll get the keys and head home!
These are the basic steps that will take you from deciding to buy a new home to moving in, keys in hand. While it may seem straightforward and simple, each step requires tremendous amounts of work and the knowhow to handle them. To help you understand the process further, I’m going to break them down one-by-one in my Buyer Education Series.
The Buyer Education Series is designed to provide you with an in-depth education of each part of the homebuying process. Starting from realtor selection to closing on your home, my goal is to make your journey as smooth as possible and ensure you’re the most educated buyer you can be. Click here to contact me for more information!HOME All Listings Featured Listings Sold Listings Sell My Home Home Evaluation Seller Learning Center About Us TIPS AND TRICKS Simcoe Port Dover Waterford Delhi ZILLOW REVIEWS