For many people, being a homeowner is the ultimate goal in life, but the process of buying your first home can be both confusing and stressful. Buying a home should be special and fun, and it certainly doesn’t have to be an ordeal.
The key to buying a home is to be prepared and to know the process and what to expect of it. With this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of the most important steps, which will make getting your dream home a little easier. No home-buying journey is ever the same, meaning that there may be additional steps in your process or steps that are skipped, but these are the most vital nuggets of information for helping you buy your home successfully.
Save for a Down Payment
A lot of people skip this step and go straight to house hunting because that’s the fun part, but it’s important to address the monetary situation before you set off. You need to make sure that you’re financially secure in order to afford this investment. It’s recommended that you save up to six months of expenses before you even think about buying a home, and be sure to clear any current debt.
The amount you need to save for a down payment will depend on the property’s value, but it’s recommended that you put down at least 10%, or even better, 20%, as you’ll avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance), which would be an extra cost to your monthly repayments.
Get Preapproved for a Mortgage
Getting preapproved can benefit your house-buying process as it proves that you’re a serious buyer. A little bit of work needs to be done for this to happen though, as a lender will need to verify your income, your assets, your down payment and then submit your loan for a preliminary underwriting.
Getting a mortgage can be difficult for people with a low credit score or poor finances, but a mortgage advisor from Azembel.com will be able to support you and aid in the mortgage process and could accept you even if you’ve been rejected elsewhere.
Find the Right Estate Agent
Although you will find some good houses when you begin searching online, pairing up with a real estate agent can help open the door to new properties, therefore increasing your choice of houses, or maybe even help you find a house before it’s hit the market.
Some qualities to look out for when choosing an estate agent is to make sure they have previously worked with other buyers like you and have at least two years of experience. It’s also helpful if they have great communication skills and exceptional knowledge of the local market in which you’re buying.
Finally, after getting the previous steps sorted, you’re now in the best position to begin your house search, as you now know exactly what you can afford and so you can buy with greater confidence. It’s good to create a list of must-have home features so that you and your estate agent know what you’re looking for, making the process more streamlined.
When evaluating potential properties, it’s important to not be put off by surface details such as wallpapers and flooring, as these can be easily changed at a low cost. Don’t compromise on location and layout though, as these can’t be changed. These tips will help you make sure you get the best value for your home.
Submit An Offer
Once you’ve found the right home it’s time to submit an offer. Estate agents will help draft this up, but they should all include details such as:
- Buyer and seller information.
- Purchase price, lender information and down payment amount.
- Items that are going to be left with the home.
- Property address.
- Closing date.
It’s important to know that submitting an offer can either be seamless or time-consuming, depending if other people are bidding on the house, or if your estimations differ greatly from the seller. It’s best to hold firm, but a good estate agent will know when it’s right to give in.
Close on Your House
This is the final stage before the house is officially yours; you just need to complete a lot of paperwork beforehand to make it official. This paperwork should be sent ahead of the closing date to allow you to review it and make sure there’s no surprises.
More often than not, when closing on a house you’ll pay for the closing costs, property tax, homeowner’s association fees (if it applies in your area) and homeowner’s insurance. If there are any confusing terms and conditions on this document, it’s important to ask questions. This may be the biggest purchase in your life, so it’s in your best interest to ensure that you understand and are following the process fully.