8 Easy Steps to Buying a Home

Whether you are considering a purchase of a home as an investment or as a place you plan on retiring in, there are steps that you can take to make it an easy process. Like anything else, establishing a process can allow you to anticipate the next step, gather information and move forward with confidence. Here are eight useful steps to help you in buying a home.

1. Make a decision to purchase

While there are so many great reasons to purchase a home, so many are not convinced to buy before they try. It is important to look at the facts around home ownership and make a concrete decision that you’re going to purchase.  By making this decision ahead of time the process of looking will not feel like you are “wasting your time” or “just kicking the tires”. If you committed to making a home purchase then all of the decisions after that will be towards achieving that goal.

2. Hire your Agent

Before you get too involved in looking for a home you should first hire the agent that will help you through the process. Take a few moments to look through their website, testimonials and track record to determine the agents that will best meet your needs. Because purchasing a home can be a complicated process that will involve individuals and companies such as: insurance assessors, mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buying agents, selling agents, bankers, title researchers and more… You’ll want to choose an agent that knows their way around the homebuying process.

3. Secure financing

Determining a place to start means determining how much you can spend. By securing financing through a local lending institution (which your agent can assist with) you can determine the maximum price of a home that you should be looking for. From that point you can balance the price based upon a comfortable budget point that you would set. This price determination gives you some negotiation room on price and allows you to get into the best home that you can comfortably afford. There are also many additional items that your loan agent will be able to help you through such as: first time buyers program, income verification requirements, appraisal and title commitments and amount of capital needed at time of purchase.

4. Finding a home

  • While your real estate agent will be assisting you in finding your perfect home, there are important questions to ask that will help your agent narrow down the search:
  • What is the ideal location?
  • How much space do I need?
  • How much space do I need and five years?
  • Is it close to schools?

What amenities do I want in a home? i.e. swimming pool, garage, balcony

asking questions like this allows you to be able to find the house that will be closest to what you want within the price that you are looking for. The more information like this that you can provide to your real estate agent, the faster they’ll be able to find you the house that you’re looking for. It is also an opportunity to make a determination of which considerations are most important; for example: if it’s the perfect location but it does not have a garage… Will this choice work?

5. Make an offer

This important step is the part that so many dread in the homebuying process, however it doesn’t have to be. Approach this process with a realistic perspective, putting yourself in the seller’s shoes, making a determination of fair market value vs. your desire to purchase the home. Your real estate agent has probably already looked at the price and compared it with other homes in the area to tell you whether the asking price is fair, be sure to take that information into consideration when making your offer.

6. Inspection and follow through

For most lending institutions, and for your own protection, an inspection by a qualified company or individual will help reveal any hidden problems prior to closing. In addition, depending on your purchase guidelines, the home may need to meet certain specifications in order for the loan to be processed. Some major areas of inspection should be electrical, foundation, the roof and overall structural integrity the home. If there are specific requirements from your lending institution that need to be met be sure to identify those prior to closing to keep that process from being delayed.

7. Closing

The final stage of the homebuying process is the lenders confirmation of the homes worth, legal statues and review of your financial status. The lending institution will review the survey, appraisal, title search and more to make sure all of the proper documentation has been compiled and verified. A meeting will be set up by your real estate agent to meet with the seller, legal counsel and lending representatives to make everything final.

8. Protect your investment

As part of your process of moving into your new home you want to look at avenues to protect your investment. Make sure you review your homeowners insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate coverage for your home and your belongings. Additionally, you’ll want to maintain a relationship with your real estate agent and take advantage of their experience within the real estate community. They may be able to help you find reputable contractors to perform any repairs that may come up as part of your home-ownership experience. You also want to take steps to properly maintain your property so that it retains or gains in value.

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