The prospect of buying a home can seem daunting. With advice coming at you from all directions, it can be hard to focus on what matters.
I can help.
This is the 4-step process I use to guide my clients through the home buying process.
1. Get Prequalified for a home loan
Figure out how much you can afford & find the right lender
This depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, the amount you are able to put down as a downpayment, and a few other factors.
There are a lot of bad lenders out there, but also some very good ones who will spend time showing you how much you can afford, and getting you the best interest rate available. I have a short list of lenders that I’ve worked with for years, and am always willing to give you a good recommendation.
2. Find the Right Home
Once you know how much home you can afford, start looking through listings in the areas you want to buy that fit your price range. If you can’t find a home that fits, it may be time to look for a Realtor® to help with your home search. Once you are prequalified, Realtors® will be willing to work for you to find the best home. It won’t cost you anything to work with a Realtor®, and many times they can get you a better deal than you could negotiate on your own.
Just keep this in mind: Most Realtors will ask you to sign a Buyer’s Agrement. These can vary widely, so it’s best to meet with that agent, and discuss the agreement beforehand. My personal philosophy is to provide a guarantee that either party can release themselves from the contract at any time if they feel the arangement isn’t working out.
3. Make an Offer & Write a Solid Contract
Once you find the right home, it’s time to make an offer. The first offer is crucial to your success in buying that home. Too low, and the buyer might take offense, and not respond. Too high, and you might end up paying more than you have to. The initial offer is an art, and good Realtors® are able to guide you in making the best first move. This is the result of experience and research, as well as previous experience with other Realtors®.
When writing a contract on a home, knowing what to ask a buyer for, and what not to can save you thousands at closing. This is another point of the buying process where a good Realtor® will work for you to get favorable terms from the buyer.
4. Home Inspections, Closing & Financing
Any standard home sale is contingent on a home inspection of the property being sold. This inspection protects the buyer by giving you a chance to change or withdraw your offer if the inspection turns up problems. You can also request that the seller fix problems before closing on the sale.Once the home inspection has been conducted, and any changes to the contract have been made, it’s time to select your loan. If you’re already pre-qualified, and you are comfortable with that lender, it makes sense to sit down with them and discuss your options. Different loan options are best if you’re planning on staying long-term, or moving in a few years, or if you want to keep your monthly payment as low as possible, etc. A reputable lender can guide you through the best option for your situation.Once a loan has been chosen, the lender will conduct an independent home appraisal. This ensures that the loan is equitable to the value of the property being purchased.
Once that’s done, a title company will make sure all of the paperwork is in order for the home purchase. Some additional information/documentation may be needed from you at this point.
Once the paperwork is done, it’s time to close!
You meet with the seller, sign all of the paperwork, and then wait for the bank to fund your loan. Once that’s done, it’s time to move in and enjoy your new home!
There’s a lot that goes into buying a new home, but if you have someone to help you along the way, it can be a quick and (mostly) painless process! As a Builder for over 28 years I know more than most Realtors® how to look out for the best interests of a buyer. I know what to look for, what to ask for, and most importantly, what it’s all worth.
If you’d like to discuss your home buying goals, get in touch!