Buying a home can be a long and complex process, but being informed about what you need to do can give you a leg up. Home buying typically involves going through these steps:
7 Steps to Buying a Home
- Define your goals and research your options
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make that’s why it is important that you prepare as much as possible. What is your time frame of moving? Why are you buying a home? Are you financially ready? Answering these questions will help you define your goals. In this early stage you should also examine your current financial situation and estimate how much you can afford in a home. Once you have a definite idea of what kind of home you are looking for and the price range of the home you can afford, then you’re ready to move forward. You can start searching your housing and also finding out what financing options are available for you.
- Hire a Buyer’s Agent
Buying a home is a complex matter, especially if you are buying a home for the first time. Surely you can do this on your own but, hiring a buyer’s agent can make your home buying experience more smoothly and less stressful. The buyer’s agents are experienced professionals who can give you valuable insights about the home buying process. They have access to every home that’s on the market including those that are not publicly listed; they have knowledge of neighborhoods; they can negotiate with the seller on your behalf; do all the paperwork needed to close your home; and last but not the least, you don’t need to pay for their service. It is the seller who pays for their commission.
- Get Pre-approved for a Loan
By getting a pre-approval you will be able to know how much money you can spend on a home and how much you can borrow. The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history.
Having a pre-approval can give you a leg up in the home buying process because it means that a lender or bank has determined that you are a suitable candidate for a mortgage. The lender has checked your credit history, your income, tax returns, and whether you have funds for a down payment and closing costs.
- View Homes
When searching for your home, having a list all the things you want and need in your home will save you time. Note the must-haves, the deal-breakers, and your wish-list to help you target your search. Most of the home buyers use the internet to search for homes. There are a lot of real estate website where you can view many homes and their details, take video
tours and access neighborhood info. One great example of this is GreaterGreenvilleAreaHomes.com. Once you have found homes that meet your real estate needs, you can arrange with your buyer agent to view them in person.
This article provides a valuable insights on what not to miss when viewing a home.
- Make an Offer and Negotiate with the Seller
Once you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. An offer should specify price and all other terms and conditions of the purchase. Your buyer’s agent will do this paper work for you. Review every clause to make sure that they express your desired offer. Your buyer’s agent can answer any questions you may have. If you are not working with an agent, your purchase offer or contract must conform to state and local laws. State laws vary, and certain provisions may be required in your area.
The buyer’s agent will submit this offer to the seller or the listing agent representing the seller. They could accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. Negotiating the real estate transaction is usually the most complex aspect of the home buying process. At the same time, it’s the one that can involve the most ingenuity. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced and knowledgeable buyer’s agent who has successfully worked through many different real estate transaction scenarios.
- Secure Financing
Once your offer has been approved and both sides have signed a purchase contract, it is time to begin the process to secure your mortgage. You will need to meet with your mortgage loan officer within the time frame noted on your purchase contract to formally apply for your loan. During this process, you will need to provide your loan officer all the information he/she needs to verify your personal finances, your capacity to repay the loan, and any liabilities you may have.
Mortgage approvals take time – normally 45 days or even more, depending on many factors. Your loan approval will be based on the information you provided to your lender during your initial application, so you should try to keep your financial life as stable as possible during the process – any changes to that information could very easily affect your loan approval.
- Close the Deal
This is the last step in buying and financing a home. You can check with your buyers’s agent about the details of your closing. He or she will be able to keep track of the transaction and communicate with your lender or title company to make sure everything is moving along in a timely manner.
Key steps to the closing include:
Getting a Title Search – Your escrow or closing agent will launch the process of getting you title insurance soon after your purchase agreement is signed. Usually your closing agent or attorney will choose your title insurer for you. The title company’s first task is to investigate the property’s history of ownership, or chain of title, and identify encumbrances on the title.
Final Walk-through – Final look at the home to make sure it’s in the same condition as when you signed the sale agreement. Take your time and do a thorough inspection.
The Settlement – The closing date is the day when you and all other parties in a mortgage transaction sign the mortgage documents and officially gain ownership of the home. The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and
transfer taxes. You’ll receive the property title and copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase. When all is said and signed, you will be handed the keys to your new house.