Purchasing a home is a big decision and once you've made it, it's easy to get carried away with the fun of searching but what's the best way to get started? We'll take you through the best way step by step so you can begin your walk down the path of home ownership.
1.Save for a downpayment and the upfront expenses of purchasing a home. Saving money can be difficult for everyone and could be a blog topic in and of itself (and probably will be at some point). Depending on the loan you go with and your financial situation you'll put down anywhere from 3.5-20% of the purchase price at closing. You'll also need money to reserve as a deposit known as Earnest Money which is given after your accepted offer on a property to provide assurance to the seller that you'll be following through on your contract to purchase the home, provided the inspection and appraisal go well. Earnest money is typically 1-2% of the purchase price but can be any amount. You'll want to have money available for a home inspection and any necessary testing as well.
2.Get pre approved for a mortgage. Do this before you start searching for a home or you can end up being disappointed in what you can actually afford and that's not a fun place to start your home search. Once you're pre approved, assess what you want to spend monthly to determine your purchase price. You'll want to factor in energy bills and how the size of the home will affect your expenditure. Think about insurance, property taxes and any condo or subdivision fees as well. You want to understand your total home expense per month and not just your mortgage amount.
3.Find the right real estate agent. If you're not sure where to start with pre approval, your agent can direct you to experienced lenders that past clients have had positive experiences with. Hire a real estate agent right away. Interviewing a few agents can be a great way to start. You should sit down for a buyer's consultation and ask any questions you may have and get to know the agent. Do your homework by reading reviews and browsing the agent's website and social media. To be most successful in any market, you'll want a full time agent who is experienced and available when you are. You'll also want to choose someone who you trust and enjoy communicating with since the home buying process can be lengthy and somewhat stressful for most people.
4.Look at houses. Go see what's out there and be willing to take suggestions. If you're set on a certain neighborhood or school district, your search may be a bit of a time game so it's good to get started as soon as possible. If you're open on location, share with your agent activities you enjoy, places you like visiting and how you spend your time. The more your agent knows you, the better they can serve your needs. Some buyers are pleasantly surprised that they end up purchasing in neighborhoods they never thought they would enjoy but ended up loving based on suggestions.
5.Put in an offer. You've found the one, you're hoping your search is over and it's time to submit an offer. A good real estate agent will assess the home, research comparable sales in the area and contact the listing agent to find out if there is any competition before writing your offer to purchase. If there are other interested parties, your agent will advise you on how to put in the most appealing offer and have the best chance of winning over other buyers.
6.Get a home inspection and appraisal. In competitive markets, some buyers may have the urge to forego the inspection and appraisal process to make their offer more appealing. For most buyers, your home is your largest investment so it's financially wise to have the inspection and appraisal to protect your purchase even if you're in competition. Your agent will write your offer with contingencies to protect you should the home be undervalued or need extensive or expensive repairs.
7.Closing day. You should receive a closing statement prior to closing that you'll want to look over carefully to make sure all information is correct. If there are any issues your title company and/or your real estate agent will help you resolve them prior to closing. At closing you'll most likely have closing costs (that you'll be aware of because of your closing statement and prior discussion), pro rated property taxes if the owner has paid ahead, and sometimes pro rated utility bills.
Keep in mind that this is just a brief summary of how you'll go about purchasing a home. For more information, schedule a home buyer's consultation. Lifetime Realty Group offers complimentary home buyer's consultation with our Buyer Specialists for anyone interested in purchasing a home. Give us a call for all of your real estate needs at (262)696-9884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.