Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home can be exciting but there is a lot to know. Buying a home will depend on real estate laws and customs where you are located but there are basic steps that every first home buyer needs to accomplish.
Step 1 - Your Finances
Establishing credit is very important especially when you are looking to purchase a large investment like a house. Your credit reports reflects how you manage your finances. Study your credit report and your financial history so you are familiar with it before applying for a mortgage. These reports will be needed for the mortgage approval process in finding out the interest rate and other loan terms.
Step 2 - Familiarize Yourself with the Mortgage Industry
Do your research. Finding the right loan and lender is extremely important to your home buying success. Choose the lender that is best for your needs but be sure to understand the loan process as much as you can before talking to a lender so you don't feel completely lost.
Step 3 - Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Once you talk with a lender, you should be given an estimate of how much you can afford for a house. Being pre approved can help you in a variety of ways. So if a home seller gets two offers, one being yours with a pre approved letter from your bank saying you have been approved for the amount offered, and then there is the other person with no letter, your chances of getting the house are much better.
Step 4 - Determine What You Want and What You Need
Buying a home isn't as challenging as most think. If you familiarize yourself with the real estate market and narrow down what you want and need before buying house the process will run a lot smoother.
Be sure to understand agent duties and devotion because some real estate agents represent buyers, sellers, or both or depending on the state they can work as neutral facilitators for either party.
Step 5 - Start Searching for your New Home
Your agent will most likely give you multiple listing sheets to review. You might have also picked up a real estate magazine in your area and found a house through that, shop online, or find ads in the newspaper. Other ideas can be driving around the neighborhoods that have houses for sale. Either way you look, consider these home buying search tools in your search.
Home Buying Search Tools
1. Consider houses that others may overlook
2. Get out there to see what's out there
3. Look into public versions of multiple listing service web sites
4. Search for real estate agent web sites
5. Browse real estate search engines and networks
6. Find for sale by owner properties
7. Look at magazine and newspapers in print
8. Find foreclosed homes
Step 6 - Handle Pre-Offer Tasks
When looking at houses be sure to look at its structure and features which can help determine if its something you want or not.
Step 7 - Put In an Offer
There's no one specific set of instructions that cover all the differences in real estate laws and customs that exist throughout the United States, so when putting in an offer on a house, it will depend on your location.
Step 8 - House Inspections and Other Tests
Some states allow home inspections before the final contract is signed where as in other states inspections take place after the contract is signed. No matter when you have to do them, it's very important to decide which inspections and tests you want done.
Discuss with your real estate agent or if you don't have one, then an advisor to find out when inspections should happen and if additional types of testing are needed for a specific area.
Step 9 - Avoid Having to Correct Last Minute Problems
As the closing date approaches, everyone involved in your real estate transaction should be checking the progress on a daily basis. That way if a problem arises it can be taken care of right away.
Step 10 - Closing
Closing, also called settlement, is the event that transfers ownership of the property from the last owner to you.
Happy house hunting!