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The Suggested Steps to Buying a Home

1: PREPARE YOUR FINANCES

  • Check Your Credit

    Your first step in this process is to make sure to get a current and accurate copy of your credit report. Next, make sure you have any inaccuracies corrected before you apply for pre-approval. This will ensure you’re able to get the best mortgage rate and plan for you. We recommend doing this before you start shopping for a home.

  • Know Your Finances

    Now’s the time to gain intimate knowledge of every aspect of your finances, including knowing all of your income, debts, savings, assets, monthly and future expenses. This will help you determine how much you can spend on your home and subsequent mortgage, and assist you in creating a solid financial plan to cover your down payment and closing costs.

2: PREPARE TO SEARCH FOR YOUR NEW HOME

  • Know What Kind of Home You’re Looking For 

    Now’s the time to gain intimate knowledge of every aspect of your finances, including knowing all of your income, debts, savings, assets, monthly and future expenses. This will help you determine how much you can spend on your home and subsequent mortgage, and assist you in creating a solid financial plan to cover your down payment and closing costs.

  • Where do You Want to Live?

    Almost as important as the type of home you want to purchase is knowing where you want it located. Do you want to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city? In a family-friendly enclave of the suburbs? Or perhaps you prefer a quaint country home well off the beaten path? Consider your preference, then consider your commute, schools that are in the area, its proximity to friends and family, and any other factor that might impact your choice.

3: BUILD YOUR HOME BUYING SUPPORT SYSTEM

  • Find a Real Estate Agent

    One of the important people in your home buying journey is an experienced real estate agent, who will help you navigate every step of the process from start to finish. Find someone who helps you to understand the intricacies of buying your home, is able to offer insight and assistance, and clearly explains what you need clarification on. It helps to ask friends, family and colleagues for referrals.

  • Find a Lender

    The next important person in your buying process is your lender, who will help you obtain your mortgage and deal with all the financial aspects of buying your home. Make sure you find someone trustworthy who has your best interests at heart and helps you to find the best mortgage for your needs, with competitive terms. Ask for referrals from people you know, and make sure you compare and contrast several options before settling with one.

  • Consider a Housing Counselor

    A housing counselor can help you with assessing your finances, reviewing and offering ways of improving your credit and help you to prepare for every step of home ownership.

4: GET YOUR FINANCES READY AND START YOUR HOME SEARCH

  • Get a Home Loan Pre-approval

    Work with your lender to complete your loan application form. Make sure you have complete documentation for this part of the process, including your credit report, debts, work and residential history, and down payment. When you’re pre-approved, your lender will furnish you with a pre-approval letter that will help you determine what price range of home you can consider. Make sure you know how long your pre-approval letter is valid for.

  • Begin Your House Search

    This is where your real estate agent can help. Inform them all your home preferences, where you want to live and your financial boundaries, and start visiting listings they send. Your new home is coming into view!

5: NEGOTIATING AND CONFIRMING THE SALE

  • Make Your Offer

    Once you’ve found your ideal home; confer with your real estate agent so you can submit an offer that’s fair and comparable to surrounding neighborhood homes. Your agent will then submit the offer to the seller’s agent, with a deadline for response. Usually it takes a couple days to hear back.

  • Negotiate

    If the seller counters your offer, work with your agent to come up with a plan of action that is favorable to your terms. Counter offers can include requests such as asking for more money or adjusting the closing date.

  • Sign The Purchase Agreement

    When negotiations finish and you find common ground with the seller on all terms, each party will sign a purchase agreement, which means you’re officially in a legally binding contract.

  • Lock Down Funding

    Give your lender a copy of the signed purchased agreement to help them finalize the loan application process, which will help you gain final approval on your mortgage.

6: INSPECTIONS AND APPRAISALS

  • Get a Home Appraisal

    The value of your home is determined by its condition and surrounding neighborhood homes. Your lender will help to schedule an appraisal to determine its value, which can help during the loan process. Make sure the purchase hinges on the appraisal to ensure the value matches what you’re paying for.

  • Conduct a Home Inspection

    Meanwhile, your real estate agent will arrange for an inspection. This helps to determine the condition of the house’s structure, and will reveal any significant issues that may need repair. It’s also recommended that you make sure the purchase hinges on the results of the home inspection.

7: CLOSING ESCROW

One of the most important parts of your home buying experience comes when your lender schedules the closing, where all parties sign the final documents. This is the final step to you achieving your dream of buying a home. Once the buyer, seller and respective representatives sign final documents, this legally transfers the property to you. Now grab your keys and unlock the front door – it’s officially yours!

 

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