Buying a home can seem like an intimidating process, especially if you’ve never bought one before. Here are 8 steps to help guide you through the process:
1. Figure out your finances
Your first step, you should determine what your credit report says about your financial history before you apply for a mortgage. Reports play an important role in the mortgage approval process, as well as defining the interest rate that a lender offers you.
2. Find a real estate agent
Finding a top real estate agent is key when selecting the home that is a perfect fit for you. Ask friends for referrals, do some research online, or even meet with a few agents in person and ask questions.
3. Find a lender
Once you’ve picked a real estate agent who feels like the right fit, ask them to recommend a lender. The lender is instrumental in handling the financial aspect of the home-buying process. Someone who is competitive on rates, communicative, and available will help the entire process move more seamlessly.
4. Search for a Home
Create a list of specific areas that are a priority for your home location. As you tour the home, take down notes that you can refer to later when deciding on your desired home.
5. Make an offer
Talk to your real estate agent about the specific steps that are required to make an offer on a home in your area. They’ll help nail down the exact price point that you should be aiming for.
6. Home inspection
Having a home inspection is prudent to ensure you don’t run into problems down the line. You’ll be well equipped with knowledge about the home and if there should be things you’ll need to negotiate.
7. Get your final mortgage approved
Once your offer is accepted, work with your lender to get a final approval by the date of the closing. Often lenders require property taxes paid for the first year, so it’s important you hash out all the details to eliminate surprises down the line.
8. Attend the closing
The final step! The closing is when the deed to the home is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Essentially, you’re signing a lot of paperwork. An attorney or settlement agent will guide you through the process. Once you’re done, you’ll officially be a homeowner.