The Process of buying a home can be quite complicated if you have never done it before. I am specializing in first time home buyers, as a new home owner myself I know exactly what all the stressors of buying a home are, and how to get through them. The best way to prepare yourself is to know up front everything you will have to deal with. I am going to tell you the uncomplicated version of all the steps you need to take to get from looking at houses online to moving in.
The first part of the process is research, you want to have an idea about what type of home you want to live in, a bungalow, a Victorian, one story, two-story… You also need to consider neighborhoods, do you want to be close to shopping? parks? bus or bike routes? While you are looking at homes and neighborhoods be sure to have a budget in mind, how much can you spend every month?
The second step, which most people skip until later, is to meet with a lender and get pre-qualified. This will make it much easier to pin point the type of homes we are looking at. This is one of the most important steps in the beginning. Most people skip this step because it is fun to look at homes and day-dream about where you will put your couch and that cute little lamp, but the hard cost portion, is not so fun.
Now that you have an idea of what you want and what you can afford, you call your Realtor. You want to sit down and have a conversation about all the things that live in your ideal home. Together you can make a list of things you can’t live without, and things you absolutely don’t want. Then ask to be set up on homefinder. A homefinder, is an e-mail that I will send you every time a new house that fits your search criteria comes on the market. It will include pictures and pricing information. (If you are interested in getting set up on this service, There is a link to my website at the top of the page). Once you start seeing homes that you are interested in you want to schedule and appointment to start touring homes!
While you are touring homes you want to keep notes on the homes you like, don’t like and why. If you decide that a 4 bedrooms might be too much, let your realtor know, if you decide you don’t really like the feel of the neighborhood, speak up. The more your realtor knows, the faster you will find your dream home. Another important thing to remember is that you may walk into the perfect home at any time, so prepare yourself for that. You don’t want to get caught up in the idea that because you have only seen 3 homes that there is something better out there. If you love it, make an offer!
This part of the process is where things begin to get complicated. Up until now, it has mostly been fun. When you are writing an offer there are lots of things to consider, firstly, how much are you comfortable spending? This is where the pre-approval letter comes in handy. You want to look at the price of other homes in the neighborhood to get an idea of value, and you don’t want to “low-ball” your offer. The market is favoring buyers so it is easier for a buyer to get what he/she wants but we don’t want to offend anyone either. After you have decided on a fair number to place on the house, the seller has about a day to decide what to do with it, they can reject it, accept it, or submit a counter offer. The last option is the most common. This is where your realtor will do the most work for you, both parties want to make sure they are getting the best deal.
After both parties have reached an agreement, things start to get technical. You need to get an inspection on the home, to make sure everything is in proper working order. Buyers almost always pay for this, about $400. Once everything, hopefully, comes through we move on to the appraisal, another thing the buyer pays for, about $350. This is mostly for the lenders, They need to be sure that the home is worth the money they are loaning you. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to say everything went smoothly, if you have questions about what complications can happen during the two or so weeks this takes, feel free to e-mail me. After all these pass, you want to do a final walk through of the home to make sure everything is still the way it was when you agreed to buy the house.
I know this was a lot of information, but I am here to answer any questions you may have. I hope this will help you feel more comfortable with the potential purpose of your home. Until next time, Live Lively!