Buying a home may seem like an intimidating and complicated process. That’s why it’s important to have a guide in order to help you navigate through this life-changing purchase.
Here’s what you need to know about the home buying process:
Determine Your Home Buying Power
The first step to any home buying process is to know how much you can afford. If you want an idea of your home buying power, look into the different housing markets and the type of home you want, then compare it with your annual income, your credit score, and your monthly debt.
One of the most important steps that home buyers usually miss is getting pre-approved. Pre-approval is crucial to the home buying process because it tells you how much home you can afford and it shows sellers that you’re serious about buying a house. During the pre-approval process, a lender will examine all your finances such as your income, credit score, and debt. Based on the information they gather, they will then determine how much money they are willing to lend you for your home purchase.
Work with a Professional
The best way to find the right home and the right neighborhood is to work with a qualified, local real estate professional. A real estate agent has the necessary knowledge and experience that can help you find a home that fits your needs and wants.
These are the top qualities to look for in a real estate agent:
- Local knowledge about the area
- A huge network of sellers, agents, and other connections
- Good negotiation skills
- Attention to detail
Create a List of the Features You Want
It’s easy to get swept away by the number of great properties that you’re looking at. In order to have a better home shopping experience, make a list of all the features and amenities that you must have in a home, such as the number of rooms, your preferred schools, and the commute time.
Take Advantage of Your Search Options
Nowadays, it’s easier for a home buyer to search for available homes with the help of online databases such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. With these websites, you can customize your searches and set up alerts for the properties that you’d be interested in. Another way to check out homes is by visiting open houses that gives you an idea of a potential home and its neighborhood.
Make an Offer
There are many factors that you must take into consideration when making an offer on the house. You need to consider how strong the local market is, the comparable sales, and how much the home is truly worth to you. Once you and the seller have agreed on a price and terms, both parties will then sign the Purchase & Sale Agreement.
Hire a Home Inspector
After your offer is accepted, it’s essential that you hire a professional home inspector to examine your home. A home inspector can point out any problems or issues in your new home that you can bring up and negotiate with the seller.