Beginner’s Guide to Buying a House

Buying a home is one of the most important things we do in our lifetime. To help ease some of the stress you will experience, here are some helpful tips to guide you on your home buying adventure.

Review Your Financial Resources

Before starting the journey in pursuit of your dream home, there are some preparations that your should make. Review your financial resources first. Get an updated credit report. Finding out how much you can afford when buying a home is important. There are home affordability calculators available on the web.

Things to take into consideration are location, gross income, and savings for down payment. Then you will want to get preapproved for a mortgage loan. To get pre-approved, you will need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker. The next step will be to find a real estate agent.

Buying On a Budget

  • How to save money for your dream home. Open a savings account. Pay off your credit card debt and keep your credit debt low. Try cutting backing back on your bills. For example, drop your gym membership. Budget your grocery bill. Saving money to buy a home is the first step to reaching that down payment.
  • After you have found a mortgage banker or a participating realtor, you will want to discuss home buyer programs available to you. Homeownership programs help with purchasing a home. There are eligibility requirements for a home buyer’s government assistance program. Your lender will assist with finding the right mortgage.
  • Then the lender will arrange for the home to be appraised. An appraiser is a third-party company not directly associated with the lender. The appraiser will give an estimate of the value of the home you are purchasing and let you know if you are paying a reasonable price. The lender will also arrange for a title company to assist with all the paperwork.

Location is Everything

Once you have discovered the best real estate agent that fits your needs, it’s time to start shopping for your new home and eventually make that offer. The first step will be attending open houses.

  • Small details matter when touring homes. For example, try turning light switches on and off and looking at cabinet space. Take notes, pictures, and video.
  • What is the street like that the property is on? Is there a lot of traffic and what type of schools are in the area? Is the local economy suitable for you and your family?

When you are ready to make that offer then it is time to work with your real estate agent to negotiate the best price. Once there is an agreement between the seller and buyer, the home will go into escrow. Escrow is the amount of time it takes to finish all the remaining steps in the home-buying process.

Your Families Needs Come First

  1. The next step is to get a home inspection. Your agent will assist with arranging to have a home inspection. Home inspections check for any damage to the home, such as a leaky roof or mold. The seller and buyer both will receive a report on the inspection.
  2. Then the lender will arrange for the home to be appraised. An appraiser is a third-party company not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will give an estimate the value of the home you are purchasing and let you know if you are paying a reasonable price.
  3. The lender will also arrange for a title company to assist with all the paperwork. Once a buyer has secured their mortgage then they are ready to finalize the deal. Some items that need to be brought to the closing are homeowners insurance, a copy of your contract with the home seller, and home loan documents.
  4. To complete the transaction for the down payment, find out if it will be via wire transfer or cashier’s check. Also bring your checkbook for smaller fees included in closing costs. The process also includes putting your signature on legal documents.
  5. The buyer’s attorney will be present along with the buyer’s real estate agent and the title company representative. The attorney representing you will help walk you through the legal process.
  6. The proceedings usually take a few days. After the paperwork is returned to the lender then the loan will be funded and the check will be delivered to the seller. You and your family will be ready to move into your brand-new home. Hopefully this beginner’s guide to buying a home gives you the confidence to start hunting for the home of your future!

Finding the Perfect Real Estate Agent

Finding the right real estate agent is critical when buying a home. They are licensed and experienced of the home buying process, strong negotiation skills, and have a familiarity with the neighborhood you want to live in. The greatest thing about hiring a real estate agent is it doesn’t cost anything – they’re compensated from the commission paid for by the seller.

  • There are several ways to find a realtor. Searching the web and reviewing credentials, getting recommendations from relatives and friends, and attending open houses are just a few ways to find the right agent that suits your needs. Try interviewing a few realtors before deciding.
  • Find out what type of services they offer and provide. Some agents represent sellers, some represent buyers, and some handle transactions as a neutral party. Real estate agents must possess strong communication skills.
  • Let your agent know how you would like to communicate whether by email, text, or phone calls. It’s crucial because you will be hearing from them often. You should expect sophistication and professionalism. For an example, a real estate agent will always expect you to be prompt, so you should expect the same from your agent.

Your agent will be bargaining for you and will guide you through the process of buying a home to reach ultimately the best deal that they can. Hopefully this beginner’s guide to buying a home gives you the confidence to start hunting for the home of your future!

*Authoritative sources:
https://www.usa.gov/buying-home
https://sorted.org.nz/guides/home-buying/buying-a-first-home/
http://www.miamidade.gov/pa/property_search.asp