Buying a home is not easy by any means, but it can be straight forward. While a variety of factors can determine the ease and timing of choosing you home and closing your loan, a few basic steps are universal in most home purchases. Check out these ten steps to buying a home and see where you are on the road map.
Plot Your Road Map to Buying a Home
Determine Your Readiness
Determining if buying a home is for you can be a financial, physical, or mental decision. Have you recently been thinking your current home is too large or too small for your family? Or that you would like to lower your mortgage? Or that you need to be closer to your work? These are all questions that spark the idea of moving homes. The average home owner stays in their home for 7 years, and while this is just an average, if you’re over the 7 year mark it could be time for a new home.
Become Optimal Candidates
If you are serious about buying a new home, get yourself ready and prepared for the home loan process. Examine your credit score, correct any errors on your credit report, pay off debts, and establish longevity at your place of employment. If you are seriously looking to buy a home and your credit score is 580, you know that you need to work on improving your score before officially applying for a home loan.
Once you’ve done a little bit of your own homework and have established that you are financially ready to buy a home, talk to your lender about getting pre-approved. A pre-approval letter will give you buying power and will give you a good estimate of the max home loan you can afford.
Determine Your Budget
Just because you are approved for a $300,000 loan, doesn’t mean you necessarily should take out your max loan. Think about lifestyle factors to determine what you’re comfortable spending. Also think about utilities, security, and new monthly bills that will be added if you buy a new home. If your mortgage is $1,500 a month, this doesn’t mean that only $1,500 goes toward your home expenses. You need to factor in utilities etc.
Check out this Houzz article: “How to find your right-sized home.”
Find a Real Estate Agent
While it’s not necessary to have a real estate agent, he or she can help you through the home buying process. They can help guide you in the direction of home price, location, style etc. They can also answer personal questions you have about buying a home since they’ve likely seen the situation before.
Select a Property
On average it takes 12 weeks to find the perfect home. You and your agent can arrange to see homes that fit your guidelines. Make sure to look at homes in the day/night so you can see how the neighborhood is if you were to live there. Also see how far the closest grocery store, gym, gas station etc. is from the home so you’ll know if you live there.
Make an Offer
This is where having a real estate agent can really help you. Your offer may reflect your budget, current market conditions, condition of the home, and terms of closing costs. Your real estate agent can tell you what’s appropriate and what likely won’t be accepted by the seller.
Inspect the Home
You will be glad that you got a home inspection. These inspections determine if there are any red flags or other issues with the home that can be negotiated into the purchase agreement. Getting a home inspection will help prevent large and costly fixes to the home surprising you down the road. A home inspection will help give you a peace of mind about the home you are seriously considering buying.
Sign a Purchase Agreement
This sales contract outlines the specific instructions for the transaction. It also outlines the amount of earnest money is required. It also gives you the date of of closing and possession of the new home. If the seller has agreed to pay a portion of the closing cost, the amount will be outlined in the purchase agreement.
Close the Transaction
This is the last paperwork you will be signing before you get the keys to your new home! Your home insurance in outlined in the closing documents, along with home owner’s association fee’s, the mortgage amount broken up into the monthly mortgage amount plus taxes, the deed, the title, and the bill of sale. Signing closing paperwork can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on questions from the buyer.
The Fornerette Team at Guild Tacoma Branch is committed to providing their clients with the highest level of service. Our mission and passion is to work with home buyers to fulfill the dream of home ownership. We build lasting relationships that create value and stand the test of time.