Are you ready to buy a home, but not sure where to start? If it’s your first time buying, searching on sites like YouTube will only provide limited advice and instruction. Here are 5 Easy Steps that will help to simplify the process of how to buy a house:
Starting out, ask your friends and family members for referrals to a good real estate agent. A good agent is one who is friendly, but not pushy, has a flexible schedule, and will point out both the pros and the cons in the properties that you look at. They should also be very familiar with their community and be able to provide you with referrals to lenders, contractors, even good restaurants. If you are moving to a new area, I advise you to research agents who have a strong social media presence along with a marketing approach that you enjoy.
Once you’ve found an agent, it’s time to get pre-approved by a lender to see how much of a home loan (aka mortgage) you can qualify for. Your agent can refer you to lenders they have a good rapport with. There are different types of loans and down payment assistance programs that a lender can explain in more detail once they have determined what you qualify for. Alternatively, if you have a banking history with a credit union, they will typically be able to offer you decent rates on home loans.
After you know what your price range is, the home search begins. Together, you and your agent will look up homes for sale online that suit your needs and style. Make sure you are clear with your agent about what you want and don’t want in your future home. You will want to consider the area as well as the home itself in regards to schools, shopping and your daily commute. Once you’ve chosen several homes you like, your agent will schedule a convenient time to show them to you. When you find one you like that’s within your budget, it’s time to submit an offer to the seller.
Your agent will submit your offer to the agent representing the seller. If the seller approves it, both of you determine a reasonable closing date which is usually scheduled 30-45 days out. It can be longer though, if necessary by either party. Your agent will assist with scheduling a title review, home inspection, termite and radon inspection during the time preceding your closing date. Your lender will order an appraisal of the home’s current market value, and will prepare a Loan Estimate Form which lists out the fees, financing terms and closing costs for you. The title company your agent used for the title review will prepare your closing documents.
The final step is signing on the dotted line at the closing table. Congratulations! You just bought your first home! You are given the keys and HOA docs (if applicable) to your NEW HOME! Its time to schedule your move…but first, its time to CELEBRATE!
Buying your first home can seem overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start! It helps to have an agent looking out for your best interests. If you’d like some help or have more questions, please feel free to reach out to me anytime! It’s a great time to buy your first (or next) home!