10 Steps to Buying a Home

Posted at 07,Sep 1:53 pm Blog Buyers
  1. Start your research as soon as you possibly can. Read magazines, web sites, newspapers, anything you can get your hands on that has real estate listings. Pay attention to how long the homes you’re interested in stay on the market and the changes in asking prices. This will give you an idea of the housing trends in your area.
  2. Find out exactly how much you can afford. A general rule of thumb is to look at homes that cost no more than three-to-five times your annual household income, particularly if you plan on making a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of debt. Find out for yourself, though, based on your own financial situation.
  3. Before you even start looking for a home, get prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’ll be able to afford. This is different from Step 2 because what you think you can afford and what the bank says you can afford aren’t always the same. Get this taken care of before you go shopping.
  4. Real estate agents are your best weapon in the chaos of the real estate market, so make use of them. Agents are paid through the seller’s closing fees, so don’t worry about that, just trust your agent and work with them every step of the way.
  5. Go shopping for homes in your price range. Don’t look at homes outside that range, as nothing good ever comes of it. Stick to your budget and take your time.
  6. Get the home inspected. The seller might not be aware of some problems the house might have, so get a professional to look the house over and give you a detailed report on the physical condition of the house.
  7. Pick a loan from your mortgage lender. Ask questions and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and find the right loan setup for you.
  8. Having the home appraised by a professional from an impartial third party company will let all parties know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
  9. Handling paperwork is a daunting, but critical part of the process. Fortunately, your agent can help you out with a lot of this.
  10. : Move in! Once the deal is closed and you sign all the paperwork required, it can take a few days for the loan to be funded. Once the check is delivered to the seller, however, the house is yours and you’re ready to move in!