Are you thinking about buying a home? Purchasing a home is an exciting but challenging process, and taking the proper steps in the preparation stage can help you move through that process as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The following steps will help prepare you with detailed steps to take to be a home-buying CHAMPION!
Before anything else, you will need to take a hard look at your finances and determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on a home. The first step in buying a home is making a budget and understanding your current financial situation. When deciding how much you want to pay for a home, you should think about all of your current debts and monthly living costs, such as your mortgage payment, taxes, utilities, food, and savings.
Finding a Loan
Once you have established a budget, it’s time to find a good home loan. Shop around and compare rates and terms offered. Consider the type of loan that best fits your financial situation. When selecting a lender, make sure to ask questions and read the fine print to understand the cost of the loan and the repayment terms. A great lender can also help you in the budgeting stage and provide you with an action plan to get you where you need to be if you’re not currently financially ready for a home purchase. Talking with a lender is a great way to determine your purchasing power and ways to increase that amount in the future if you’re not there yet. If you don’t know where to start in your lender search, reach out to your real estate agent for a trusted referral.
Once you’ve found your lender, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you to know how much you can borrow based on your credit score and financial situation. During this process, the lender will review your credit score, income, debts, and other financial information to determine the amount that you can borrow.
Next, determine what type of home you’re looking for. Think about the size of the house you need, the location you would like to be in, how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed, how close it is to amenities, nearby schools, and what type of neighborhood you would prefer. Consider how your lifestyle needs may change in the future and how long you plan to stay in the home. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for helps streamline the search with your realtor so you’re only seeing houses that fit what you’re looking for.
Now it’s time to look at houses! Getting paired with a real estate agent to help you navigate the market, find you homes on the MLS (Not just Zillow and Realtor….), and negotiate on your behalf is a BOSS move. They (like myself) are professionals, with expert market knowledge, and can help you find your dream home with way less stress. And in the state of Florida, it is customary for the seller to pay the commission, not the buyer. You can also be represented at new construction homes. The on-site agent is representing the seller/builder… Don’t go unrepresented!
Make an Offer
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, it’s time to submit your offer! A great real estate agent will know how to make a competitive offer and negotiate on your behalf. There are other forces at work that may cause your offer to not get accepted, but it’s important to find an agent who understands and can educate you on what a good offer looks like and provide options on how to make your offer stand out.
Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted. Now what? Some loans require a home inspection, but everyone is entitled to one. This part of the process is essential for identifying any potential defects or problems in the home and making any necessary repair requests. Giving you an advantage up front of what to expect so there are no hidden surprises after closing. This is an upfront cost due before closing. During the under contract stage, your relator will provide you important dates to follow and steps to take to keep you from faulting on the contract requirements.
By taking all of the necessary steps in the home-buying preparation process, you’ll be well prepared to take the plunge and start making arrangements to purchase your dream home. This process can be exciting and also nerve-wracking, so working with professionals can really help you get through it with ease and into your new home confidently.
Reach out and ask for a free copy of my home buyers guide, or ask questions about the home buying process. I’m always happy to help!