It’s time. Buying your very first home is one of life’s biggest achievements! Full House Real Estate has first time home buyer tips and steps that answer the questions you were afraid to ask or perhaps didn’t think of. Homeownership really is within your future. You just need the right Realtor and team to get you there
So you’re thinking about buying your first home. A place to call and make your own!
It’s a big move, literally and figuratively. Buying a house requires a serious amount of money (mortgage) and time. The journey isn’t always easy, the journey at times can be stressful, but when you get the keys to your new home that can be one of the most rewarding feelings pretty much ever.
That’s where this guide comes in. Full House Real Estate will show you not only the major steps you’ll take during the home-buying process, but also explain the relationships and experts you’ll need along the way.
You ready to live the dream? Here we go.
Do Your Homework
Oh sure, everybody wants to jump right into open houses, but before you even set foot into a home, you should identify your list of “musts” and “wants.” This list is an inventory of priorities for your search, such as price, housing type, neighborhood, and school district just to list a few.
Find a Great Realtor
Your relationship with your real estate agent is the foundation of the home-buying process. He or she is the first expert you’ll meet on your journey, and the one you’ll rely on most. That’s why it’s important to interview Realtor and find the Realtor who’s right for your specific needs. (not all agents are Realtors, a Realtor is part of the National Association of Realtors)
Choose a Lender
Once you’ve found your agent (AKA, your new best friend), ask him or her to recommend a mortgage lender that meets your financial needs. You will work with your lender closely throughout the home-buying process.
Pick a Loan
Once you decide on a lender (or mortgage broker), you’ll work with your loan agent to determine which mortgage is right for you. You’ll consider the percentage of your income you want to spend on your new house, and you’ll provide the lender with paperwork showing proof of income, employment status, and other important financials. If all goes well you’ll be pre-approved for a loan at a certain amount.
Once you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to start looking at listings and houses online. Your Realtor will send you homes that meet your criteria via their online system that shows what homes are for sale.
Now that you have both a Realtor who knows your housing preferences and a budget — and a lender to finance a house within that budget; it’s time to get serious about viewing homes. Your Realtor will provide listings you may like based on your parameters (price range, ZIP codes, features), and will also help you determine the quality of listings you find online. Then comes the fun part: Open houses and private showings, which give you the unique opportunity to evaluate properties in a way you can’t online.
Make an Offer
Once you find the home you want to buy, you’ll work with your Realtor to craft an offer that not only specifies the price you’re willing to pay but also the proposed settlement date and contingencies — other conditions that must be agreed upon by both parties, such as giving you the ability to do a home inspection and request repairs.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Making an offer can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Will they like it? Will another offer come in besides mine? Will there be competing offers? Will they say yes to my offer? It’s stressful! Some home sellers simply accept the best offer they receive, but many sellers make a counteroffer. If that happens, it’s up to you to decide whether you want your Realtor to negotiate with the seller or walk away. This is an area where your Realtor can provide real value by using their expert negotiating skills to haggle on your behalf and nab you the best deal. Especially if there are competing offers, you want a Realtor who has the experience and know how to get your offer accepted!
Get the Home Inspected
Once your offer is accepted, you’ll sign a contract. Most sales contracts include a home inspection contingency, which means you’ll hire a licensed or certified home inspector to inspect the home for needed repairs, and then ask the seller to have those repairs made. This mitigates your risk of buying a house that has major issues lurking beneath the surface, like mold or cracks in the foundation.
Next comes the Appraisal
When you offer to buy a home, your lender will need to have the home appraised to make sure the property value is enough to cover the mortgage. If the home appraises close to the agreed-upon purchase price, you’re one step closer to closing — but a low appraisal can add a wrinkle. Again another reason the Realtor you hire matters! A low appraisal can make or break a deal. Having a Realtor who has enough experience in the business to deal with a low appraisal is a plus for you.
Close the Deal
Leading up to closing day your Realtor will review your final documents and make sure everything is in line with the purchase agreement. You will have your final walk through at the home to make sure all repairs were completed and the home is to your satisfaction.
The last stage of the home-buying process is closing, or what we at Full House Real Estate like to call CLOSING DAY. This is when you sign the final ownership and insurance paperwork and make this whole thing official. CONGRATS YOU ARE NOW A HOME OWNER!