Buying a house requires some time and effort, but we've compiled a list of just 7 easy steps that will help you get there.
Talk to your financial institution or Mortgage Loan Officer to find out just how much you can or want to spend. There are many loan programs available. Some require a larger down payment than others. You will need to provide income statements, savings information, and financial documentation just to name a few. Ask your lender to provide a pre-approval letter once you know the details.
Real estate agents are important partners when you’re buying or selling a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.
Start touring homes in your price range. You may see several homes, so take notes and pictures because it can be hard to remember everything about them.
It’s also important to evaluate the neighborhood and make a note of things such as: Is there enough street parking for your family and visitors? or Is it conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and public transportation?
Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow (you could be required to make a deposit) which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.
Typically, sales contracts are contingent on the Inspections. Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.
You will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Contact the utility companies, waste pickup, and other services related to the home/area. Your Real Estate agent will help with this information.
At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents, the deed, and closing disclosure. This typically takes about an hour. Be sure to get garage door openers and all keys that fit the house. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new home!