Step 1: Are you ready?
Is this where you want to settle down and live for a period of time? Is purchasing a home a solid option for your family and finances? Things to consider are: education for your children, room to grow in your career, fixed expenses, and current income.
Step 2: Get your credit ready
Pay off outstanding balances and credit cards, this will improve your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better the rate you’ll receive, and thus the size and location of your home are greatly affected.
Step 3: Get Pre-Qualified
This step is the most important because it gives homebuyers the ability to look for homes that they can afford, which saves time and money. Meet with a lender and they’ll walk you through the pre-qualification process or get Pre-Qualified here.
Step 4: Determine your budget
Pre-qualification will tell you how much the bank is willing to lend. A lender will then take all of your assets, income, etc. into account and determine what you can afford.
Step 5: Find a real estate agent
Realtors will have an insight to the market and will also help with negotiating and closing costs. While you don’t have to use a realtor, it can make the process much easier especially for your first home.
Step 6: Select a property
Make up a list of your non-negotiables. Weigh the pros and cons of several homes. Lastly, no is always an option. Take your time when deciding on a home.
Step 7: Make an offer
This can be a delicate process and you have several things to consider: condition of the home, time of the year, work needed to be done on the home, and how long the home has been on the market. This is where a Realtor really comes in handy.
Step 8: Inspect the home
After the offer has been accepted it’s customary to schedule a buyer’s home inspection. This helps you determine red flags and will allow you to create final negotiations.
Step 9: Final Negotiations
With the inspection done, your budget set, and your new home chosen you’re able to set-up final negotiations. This outlines the details of the sale, negotiated repairs, fixtures sold with the house, etc.
Step 10: Congrats on your new home
Schedule a final walk-through to make sure all negotiated repairs have been completed. Also, your lender may require you to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. When all requirements have been fulfilled and your mortgage approved, you will sign your mortgage documents on the closing date and receive the keys to your new home. This process may have taken weeks, but a supportive lender and Realtor can make the process far less difficult.
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