Tips on the Home Buying Process
The process of buying a home can be a time consuming and emotional undertaking. With the enormous number of homes available on any given real estate market, it can be a difficult process to best gauge the home that is suited to your needs. In an attempt to simplify the process, here are some good things to remember when considering the purchase of a new home.
First Steps: Get the Financial House in Order
One of the most important aspects of purchasing a home is ensuring that your finances are in order before the process begins. The first step is to research the lenders that are operating in your area. Do your homework, find the lender that suits your lifestyle and personality. Seeing that this process is given the appropriate attention can benefit you in the long run. It will also encourage you to shop around and compare the different mortgages that are available. It is also a good idea to figure out how much you can afford on a monthly basis in terms of mortgage payments. Having a number in mind at the outset, and communicating this to the lender can assist in getting you the mortgage that you want. Finally, one of the most important steps of the financing process is to get your mortgage pre-approved. Having a full pre-approval, (not just a quick qualification) allows you the freedom to shop for a home, confident in the knowledge that when you find that perfect property, an offer can be made without complications. This also gives the buyer power in the negotiation process as it shows the seller that your offer is serious and has the financial backing necessary for a quick and hassle free closing.
Where Do I Really Want to Live?
Once the financing is in place, take some time to research the area that you are planning to move to. This is a great time to consider schools, services, amenities and other necessities of life. Remember that the neighborhood that the home is located in is an integral part of the home’s value. This is also a good time to review the list of your desires in relation to the home that is ideal for you. Prioritize your needs and wants and know which ones you would be willing to sacrifice if the need arises.
Found the House? What’s the Next Step?
Should you be ready to make an offer on a home at this point, sit down with your realtor and discuss your options. How much is a fair offer for the home in question? It is affordable to you, the buyer? Take into account the possibility that you may be outbid if the home is a desirable one. This is a great time to discuss your bidding strategy with your realtor and set a “high point” for what you are willing to pay for the home. Hopefully your bid will be accepted and you will be spared the emotionally charged process of bidding off against another prospective buyer.
Get a Home Inspection
If your offer is accepted, you will then need to have a proper home inspection done. This is critical. Is is a good idea to add a subject or two to the purchase contract, the most important being “Subject to the home passing an inspection.” If a home is not inspected, the buyer could be in for real trouble. It is important to know fully the condition that a house is in structurally before purchasing. A good inspection will reveal any imperfections in the house such as mold, water damage, improper building procedures and many other concerns. Don’t hesitate to go along on the inspection and ask as many questions as possible. After all, this is going to be your home and you should know what is going on with it. What might need ongoing maintenance? What needs to be replaced immediately? Or needs to be replaced soon? Things like this can affect your closing price, and if there are things that require immediate replacement they can be utilized as a bargaining points.
Final Steps: Homeowner’s Insurance and CLOSING — Don’t Forget the Champagne!
Assuming that your offer has been accepted by the seller, your lender will likely require you to secure home insurance. This is another place where it is a good idea to shop around to see what you can find. With numerous companies and policies available, take your time and find the one that best suits your needs, wants, and financial ability. Now the final step of the buying process can occur. Closing. It is here where the final agreements are made, and finalized. Now the actual property transfer takes place and all that is left is for you to enjoy your new home! Collect your keys and live happily ever after! This is our favorite part: seeing our customer’s homebuying dream fulfilled.