The Steps of Buying a Home

    Is this it – the year you resolved to find your new home? We know that starting down the exciting road to home ownership can be as daunting as it can be exciting. We’re here to help you navigate through each step of the home buying process! Here’s what you should know as you start on this journey.


    This is important before you start looking and run the risk of finding the “perfect” home, only to discover that you might be out of your range. If you’re seriously hoping to find a home and make an offer, talk to a lender, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and shop confidently that you know what you can afford. Keep in mind that pre-approval and pre-qualification are not the same thing. Pre-approval is a guarantee that the bank is willing to grant you a loan for a certain amount. This is considered an essential component in making an offer and the first step of buying a home. If you’re unsure about a lender to choose, ask us and we’ll make some suggestions. Here’s more info on why it’s important to start your home buying process with getting a pre-approval.



    Once you know that your financing is in order, seriously consider the features you consider necessary. Decide what features are “must-haves” and a secondary wishlist of additional desirable features. It’s important to decide in advance of your actual search on the details that may not be compromised, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Wishlist items might include a fence or other features that could be added but aren’t deal-breakers.



    With your feature list prepared, you have some options. At this step of buying a home, you can hunt on your own or enlist an agent to assist you. You can search listings online on your own or call us to help you set up a targeted search. When you’ve chosen some listings that might fit your criteria, it’s time to actually visit the homes and try to envision yourself there.



    This makes it real. When you’ve found a listing that might be just right for you, we can help you submit an offer. Your REALTOR assists with the paperwork, communicates with the seller’s agent, helps you determine the best offer and realistic expectations, and handles all the details of the process, such as scheduling inspections you might like to have done and planning the closing and possession dates. After your offer submission, the seller may decide to accept, reject, or counteroffer. Some buyers may repeat this process several times before completing a contract.



    The next step in buying a home is when your REALTOR will help to schedule inspections. A qualified professional will perform a home inspection to check for any defects or code violations that you may want the seller to correct. You might also choose to have a radon test, termite inspection, or sewer inspection. You will receive a report for each inspection or test that you order. These are important; if the seller is unwilling or unable to repair defects, you may choose to void the contract and walk away. You can read more here about what home inspectors look for when performing your home inspection.



    You will have been in contact with your lender and should next finalize your mortgage application. He will help you obtain an appraisal to be certain your home meets or exceed your contract price, order a title report, or obtain private mortgage insurance.



    Your mortgage company will require written proof to satisfy their specific conditions. These may include proof of insurance, documentation to clear the title report, or invoices as evidence of seller’s repairs. Some of these items will be your responsibility; your REALTOR can help with details like obtaining invoices from the seller’s agent. Keep copies of all documentation that you gather.



    On closing day, bring whatever paperwork you have just in case you need it and arrive on time to sign your name. Congratulations! They will hand you the keys to your new home.

    While buying a home is likely one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, it’s also an emotional one. The responsibility of helping you through this important transition is something we don’t take lightly. If you have questions about the home buying process and whether or not it makes sense for you, we’d love to help.

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