Tacoma, Washington is a beautiful place to live with lush scenery, incredible views of Mt. Rainier, and diverse cultures. If home buying is in your future, follow these steps on how to buy a home in Tacoma.
How to Buy a Home in Tacoma
Step 1: Create a Budget
The prices of homes in Tacoma are rising every day, so it’s important that you sit down with your spouse to determine a budget. This way when you’re starry-eyed looking at houses, you can refer back to the budget and keep yourself in line. Lenders typically recommend that you look for homes that cost no more than three to five time your annual household income if you plan to make a 20% down payment.
Step 2: Get Pre-Approved
Now that you and your spouse are on the same page, the next step in the search to buy a home in Tacoma, is talking with a lender and getting pre-approved. To do this you will need to provide your lender with W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, and bank statements. Once you’re pre-approved you’ll have an accurate range of home process to look at. This prevents the disappointment that can come from finding a dream home that is out of your budget.
Step 3: Find a Real Estate Agent
Finding the right real estate agent for your family can help the home buying process go smoothly. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods, and can help your negotiate the price near the end of the process. The best way to find the right agent for you is to talk with your friends and family and see who they enjoyed using.
Step 4: Shop for Homes
This is the fun step to buy a home in Tacoma. Start touring homes on Redfin and Zillow and schedule appointments with your real estate agents and the seller. Make sure to evaluate the neighborhood as well as the house so you know what you’re signing up for. Once you and your spouse have agreed on a house, and you and the seller have agreed on a price, the house will go into escrow.
Step 5: Get a Home Inspection
Getting a home inspection is an important step to buy a home in Tacoma. Home inspections can reveal issues that neither party noticed about the home. Finding a problem with the furnace before you purchase the home through an inspection can help save thousands of dollars down the road. If there are issues that pop up on the inspection report, the seller is typically liable to fix the problems.
Step 6: Select the Loan Type
A 20% conventional loan is not the only type of loan out there. If you are a first time home buyer with less than 20% saved for a down payment, there are multiple programs to help you find your home. FHA loans are typically idea for first time home buyers who haven’t built up their credit and haven’t saved 20% down. It just depends what your long-term goals are. Some buyers are interested in keeping their monthly payment low, while others are interest in making sure their monthly payments never increase.
Step 7: Close the Sale
This is the most important step when you buy a home in Tacoma. During the closing process, you’ll sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you’re ready to move into your new home!
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