What to Expect
Buying a home can be a major and exciting part of one’s life. It is important that home buyers, first time home buyers especially, know what is to be expected and what to look for. This includes everything from what paperwork is needed to knowing what to look for in a real estate agent.
What to Expect
- Paperwork, loans, contracts, etc.
- Open Houses
- Credit Report
- Home Inspections
Keep In Mind
- Quality of Neighborhood
- Location/What’s Nearby
- Hiring a Real Estate Agent
- Market Trends for The Area
- Value of Home
Steps to Take
- Preapproval/Prequalify – Based on your credit score and history you will be able to get prequalified and preapproved for a certain amount towards your mortgage. This is how much money the bank is willing to loan you and will set your max budget. The better your credit is the more likely you are to get approved for a higher amount. Be sure to take care of any withstanding issues or errors with your credit before trying to get approved for a loan.
- Research – Determine how much house you can afford and what current market trends are, establish what neighborhood you want to be looking in, how many bedrooms you want, how many baths, etc. Doing your research is key part of the home buying process. Not only will you be more prepared, but it will also help ensure a smoother and less stressful experience.
- Find the Right Real Estate Agent – Don't just hire any real estate agent. It’s important to find a real estate agent that’s best suited to your needs. The agent you hire should be readily available to help you through the process, provide you with the information and skills that you need, and ultimately help you find and get the best price for the home that you want to buy.
- Find Your Home – Now with the help of your real estate agent, begin looking for your home. Start with the neighborhoods that you’ve researched and found you would like to live in and then branch out from there. After finding a home you like make sure to get it inspected to make sure there are no underlying or major issues with the home. Also, be sure to get the house appraised as this will let you know you’re paying a fair price. It's better to be safe than sorry and knowing any issues the house has and a fair price for the home will help you during negotiation.
- Select Your Loan – Now you need to work with your bank to select your loan. Since you’ve already been preapproved and prequalified, you will be sorting out how much you will be paying towards your mortgage on a monthly basis. Be realistic in what you will be able to afford when selecting your payment options to make sure you never miss a payment.
- Close – After you’ve gone through the entire process from doing research to getting your potential home inspected, all that is left to do is close. This is where you will be required to sign all of the paperwork in order to finalize the purchase. Closing usually takes a few days as it takes time for the bank to process the paperwork and for your loan to be funded so don't be worried if this is the case for you.
Other Home Buying Tips/Advice
Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?
How do you tell if you're ready to buy a home? This is a question most first time home buyers and even experienced buyers find themselves asking. Buying a home is the start of a new chapter in one's life and a decision that shouldn't be made lightly.
Ask yourself if this is a commitment you're ready for and figure out what is the best option for your situation. What are your reasons for moving? Are you looking to live in the area for at least a few years or are you going to pick up and move again shortly?
Would renting be a better option? What's your credit looking like? Are you in a good financial situation to be buying a new home? These are all questions you should ask yourself before deciding if you're going to buy a new home. Doing this will make your decision much more easy.
Hiring an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Hiring a realtor or real estate agent is a great idea for anyone looking to buy a home. Buying a house can be stressful enough, hiring someone to help you through the process can prove to make a much better experience for both the buyer and seller alike.
A real estate agent will help you find a home based on your preferences for layout, house style, price range, amenities, neighborhood, surrounding area and more.
Whoever you decide to hire should be someone that knows the area, has a good reputation, has your best interest in mind, and is avaliable throughout the process as a whole.
Don't be afraid to contact the real estate agent you're thinking about hiring and setting up a time to meet or talk. This will give you a chance to get to know them and see how good of a fit they would be.
You can also talk to clients they've worked with in the past, look at reviews, and look at their website. Any established real estate agent will have an online presence and way to showcase their listings.
There are numerous benefits to hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your home. A real estate agent is responsible for helping you find the home that best suits your needs and creating a positive home buying exprience.
They will help you with every aspect of the process including applying for your loan, any required paperwork and contracts, house hunting, price negotiation, setting up an inspection, closing, and more. A buyer's agent works for you and should provide you with the expertise and assistance you need when finding your home.
Home Buying Misconceptions
Unfortunately, there is an abundance of false information about home buying out there. This causes unknowing home buyers to fall victim to bad deals and decisions that aren't in their best interest.
These misconceptions range from the down payment and how much you need to buy a home to not being able to buy a home if you have bad credit. The more research home buyers do and information they gather, the better off they will be. Hiring a real estate agent is a great way to ensure you don't fall victim to false information when finding your new home.
Negotiating the Price
When it comes to buying a home, no listing price is final. With the right preparation and technique, any price can be negotiated. This is something that often times people either fail to realize or simply don't know how to negotiate with the seller well enough and end up overpaying for their home as a result.
There are several things you can do to help you when negotiating. Getting the home inspected and appraised can help you see the true value and if the listing price is fair or not. Your real estate agent can help you with other negotiating factors such as knowing the current market trends for the area and more.
Home Buying Problems
There are some problems that are beyond your control and are bound to happen when buying a home. However, by planning ahead you will give yourself a fighting chance to stay on top of and limit the amount of problems that occur.
Issues that are common for home buyers to deal with include issues with the house itself, issues with communication and how the process works, and financial troubles. To the best of your ability, make yourself aware of and deal with these issues before they happen to you so you can have as much of a stress-free home buying experience as possible.
Finding Your Home
Everyone has a different house in mind when thinking of what will suit them the best. Before going house hunting write down what you're looking for in a home so it's clear what features and amenities are important to you.
Start with your budget to determine your price range and from there include factors like the type of neighborhood, nearby, schools, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms etc. This will give your real estate agent a clear picture of what you have in mind and allow you to be more focused in your search.