You’re buying your first home, but have so many questions. There is much you need to know, and it seems like so little time to learn it. While the steps to buying a home vary, we can give you some pointers.
Here are our steps to buying your first, or next, home.
Do Your Research
If you have a city or area in mind, it’s likely you have already begun to do this, but one of the first things you will want to do is look at listings to see what houses will cost in your desired neighborhood. This will give you an idea of how much you need to save. In a way, this is a reverse process to see if you have enough to make a down payment on the home you’re wanting, and will be an indication of whether you need to think smaller, or if you are in the ballpark financially.
Get Prequalified & Preapproved
Before you get too much further into the process, you’ll need to know approximately what you can afford. That means the next step is getting prequalified. A prequalification tells you how much the bank is willing to lend you based on assumptions they pull from the information you provide them. Normally, all that the lender needs to complete this process is some basic financial information, like your income or a few paystubs. For a preapproval, you will need a bit more information as this resembles an actual loan application. This is due to the fact that the lender or bank will run your credit in order to complete the preapproval. If you are preapproved, that means that if you had applied for a loan, your application would likely have been approved.
It is important to note that being approved for either of these is not a guarantee you will be approved later. In both instances, being approved means based on the information you provided, the bank or lender believes you would be approved if you are to apply. You can apply for a preapproval, or learn more about our home loans, online at https://centralnational.com/mortgages/.
Find a Real Estate Agent to Work With
Once you have done the prep for your search, it’s time to find someone that can help you get what you want. Real estate agents will generally know more about different areas than you, this allows them to give you insight on details you may have missed. Thanks to technology, finding a good agent has never been easier. Reviews are available all over the internet to help you find the right agent. Can’t find any agents in your area? Seek out the advice of those you trust, or pose the question on social media!
Starting the Hunt
You have the agent, you know your price range and you have an idea of what you’re looking for, so it sounds like you’re ready to start looking for a house. Unless you’re looking to flip the house, you may want to do some basic things, like test water pressure, or see if the doors close correctly, to give you an idea of what condition the house is really in. This can be done by you when you are looking at the house for the first time, or during the inspection process.
Have the Home Inspected
States have various rules for when you can have the inspection done, but no matter when this can be done, it should always be done. The inspector’s job is to find structural damages that you don’t see or go easily unnoticed. If you think there’s reason for concern, testing for mold or radon gas may be something you want to have done as well.
Make an Offer
If everything checks out in the house you like, it sounds like it’s time to make an offer! If you have a good agent, they will help you with this step. They understand the market and can make sure your offer is appealing. If the offer is not accepted, it is back to the hunt, if it is accepted, you’re on to the next step.
As mentioned before, depending on the state the home is in, the point in the home buying process an inspection is done varies. You may have to have an offer accepted in order to do the inspection. Check with your agent to see what they recommend the best time for you to have the inspection done will be.
Once the offer is accepted, it is time for paperwork! Patience may be necessary for this step as closing is a bit of a process. It can take anywhere from 30-45 days to officially close on a home. If you’re a first-time home buyer, it will likely take longer than if you’ve bought a home before. When you go to sign the closing paperwork, you’ll need to make sure you have a government issued ID as well as the payment for your down payment, closing costs and any other fees that you will be charged.
Once the papers are signed, you are officially a home owner. Congratulations! After all the hard work to get to this point, it’s time to move in and enjoy your new home!