So you’re thinking about buying a home? Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking for a change, or needing to relocate, this is going to be a life-changing experience for you! It can be an emotional, exciting, and also an exhausting experience. You may also be wondering along the way—what am I missing? This is a common question. Here’s how the buying process works from start to finish:
Do some preliminary online searching. Check into what homes are selling for in the areas you’re interested in to give you an idea of what you’re looking for. This will help later on when communicating your wish list with your real estate agent.
Take care of the budget. Use our online mortgage calculator (bottom of page) to determine what your monthly mortgage payment would be if you were to purchase one of these homes you’ve found online. Make some additional estimates for utilities and see if this fits into your budget.
Get pre-approved. To get pre-approved for a mortgage you’ll need to get some paperwork ready: pay stubs, W-2s, bank account statements, tax returns for the past two years, and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. Start with your current bank, but make sure you check out competitor banks as well – you might get a better mortgage loan rate by shopping around. Also, consider the amount your lender approves you for as a maximum – this is by no means what you should spend. Don’t have a lender? We can connect you with one.
Find an agent. A good real estate agent will help you navigate the process every step of the way. We’d love to help you get started!
Make an offer. Once you’ve found your dream home, you may want to move quickly. We will guide you on a reasonable first offer to start negotiations based on market conditions. Also, make sure you consider closing costs which could account for 2-5% of the home price.
Do a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a professional inspector review the property for quality, safety, and general condition of your potential home. You don’t want to be surprised with a home that needs a lot of unexpected repairs. If the inspection reveals undisclosed serious defects, you can negotiate further to have the seller make repairs or discount the selling price. You’ll also likely have the option to withdraw your offer and get your deposit money back.