Buying a home is most likely one of the biggest financial endeavors that you will make during your lifetime. But the home buying process need not be complicated and stressful as long as you know what you want and plan carefully. Here is a basic guide to help you out when buying a home.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Those not familiar with the real estate market tend to find it confusing, but not when you work with a real estate professional. In general, the right agent that you choose to work with will guide you in making informed decisions as well as help you avoid potential problems. Select a real estate agent that you are comfortable with and has a track record of successful transactions. A good agent is one that listens attentively to all your concerns and promptly replies to your calls and inquiries.
Preparing to Buy
Before looking around, create a green file containing your bank accounts, statements, investments, credit cards, loans, tax returns, insurance, property leases, and other important financial documents; you’ll need this green file in order to secure financing. Also check your credit rating with a lending institution, as your credit score will have an impact on the type of property you can buy and at what price.
Loans and Mortgages
Find out which one among the different kinds of loans available is the best one for you depending on your financial situation. Your agent will help you consider the pros and cons of each mortgage loan type and guide you to the best possible solution.
A pre-approval letter from a lender will help you search for the home you want faster since you know exactly how much you can afford. Having a pre-approval letter also lets sellers know that you’re a serious buyer because you already have financing.
Looking for Your Home
When searching for a home, you can save lots of time by simply concentrating on the home with the features you need. Make a list of what you really want so you can narrow down your choices and find homes faster. Know more about the neighborhoods that you plan to live in by driving through the area to see for yourself if the community is right for you and your needs.
Making an Offer
When you’ve chosen the home you want, your agent will help you make an offer that the seller should consider. Be prepared for things like counteroffers or even rejections, but keep in mind that these are part of the negotiation process. Having a good agent on your side will ensure that they will watch out for your best interests.
Inspections and Escrow
Inspect the home you’re buying as soon as possible to find out if there are problems, which can give you enough time to renegotiate or even cancel. Escrow begins when you and the seller have come to an agreement, and your agent will ensure that everything proceeds smoothly and on time.
When your loan has been successfully processed and the funds are given to the seller, you’ll get the deed to the property in your name and the keys to your new home are turned over to you. The deal is now closed, and you have a new home–congratulations!