So you’re finally ready to go out and start looking for a home. Only one problem… you don’t know where to start! The home buying process can be long and strenuous. From dealing with the finances, to touring multiple homes, to making the final hard decision, it can take a lot out of anyone, but it’s worth it in the long run. Imagine finally being able to go to a home that you can call your own! Below we have outlined the steps of the home buying process.
RESEARCH AND SAVING
Before you even start the process, it is important you do a few things: research, save up, and raise your credit. (Check out our previous blog post where we inform you how you can raise your credit to purchase a home!) When is comes to saving for your new home, set goals and stick to it. You want to save as much as possible. You also want to do research. The more you know, the better. This will help make things less overwhelming, and self-empower you throughout the process.
This is when you find out how much you can actually afford. You meet with your mortgage lender and give them information about your income, savings, and investments. From there, the mortgage lender gives you an estimate of what you would qualify for when you actually apply for the loan.
FIND A REAL ESTATE AGENT
This part is SUPER important. Finding the right real estate agent to help you find your dream home will make the process go as smooth as possible. Here at Premium Properties, we have hundreds of qualified and trained agents to help you get the job done, but whether you choose one of our amazing agents, or one of the other guys, interview agents that you are thinking of doing business with. They will present what they can do for you, and kindly ask you to sign a contract to make their services to you official. Once you have made this decision, this is when the real work begins.
FINDING YOUR HOME AND PUTTING IN AN OFFER
Now here comes the part where you really start shopping around for your home. Your real estate agent should come up with a criteria, based on your preferences, and your wants and needs. They will use this criteria to narrow it down. With so many houses out there, this is the best way to go about finding the right home for you. On average, people look at 5-10 homes before they decide on the one, so if you don’t like the first home that you see, don’t be discouraged. There is a home out there with your name on it. Once you do get to the point that you find the home that you want, your real estate agent will put in an offer on the home, and negotiate on your behalf.
GET AN INSPECTION SCHEDULED
Around 80% of homebuyers get an inspection done on a home that they’re interested in. Often times there are underlying issues with a home that aren’t evident to the naked eye and may pose as a problem later on. If there are issues to be fixed, your real estate agent negotiates with the seller to see if they can get it fixed. How quickly they do so depends on what is found in inspection, and if it is a long term job, you can always negotiate to get it fixed even after closing. In some cases, an inspection may be the reason you back out of a home offer, which you can do without it costing you, as long as you back out in the allotted time that the contract gives.
DEAL WITH THE FINANCING AND HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
After pre-qualification and pre-approval, you submit the actual mortgage loan application. If you are using the same lender, they will already have some of the documents for submitting the application. If you are using a different one, you will provide the same documents. Regardless of if you choose the same one or not, they will probably request additional documentation at any point during the home buying process. It is in your best interest to get any documentation they request as soon as possible so that there is no delay in closing and you don’t risk losing your escrow deposit. You also need to show proof of a homeowner’s insurance policy prior to closing. Your lender can help you set this up as well.
GET A HOME APPRAISAL DONE
An appraisal is when someone goes in and evaluates the true market value of the home. If your offer matches the market value, then it is good to go. If the appraisal is above your offer price, this is great because you are purchasing the home below market value and have instant equity. With both of these situations, you will get the green light to close on the home. If the appraisal is below your offer price, the lender will not approve the full loan amount since this means that you are overpaying on the home. To combat this, you can try to renegotiate with the seller on the home price to better match the market value.
Most people do this the day before or the morning of closing day. This is when you walk through the home one more time to ensure that everything looks the same as it did when you walked through the first time.
SIGN THE PAPERWORK
This is when you get all of the paperwork signed with the title company. Expect this process to take a few hours. Once you sign all the papers, you get the keys and the home is officially yours!!