8 Steps to Buying your First Home

Are you or someone you know interested in purchasing your First Home?

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Many first time home buyers are unsure of where to begin. Here is a list of steps to prepare you for your Home Buying Journey!

  1. Learn the Process: Often times buyers just want to jump right in and start viewing houses. This is a common mistake new buyers can make. It’s best to take a step back and understand that preparation and education is the best way to start your buying journey. Knowledge is power, and obtaining as much information as possible will prepare you for success. Knowing what to expect throughout the home buying process and understanding each step with ensure that you are prepared for whatever may come along.
  2. Talk to Lenders: You’ll want to have a strong understanding of your financial limitations BEFORE you start searching for homes. If you don’t understand your limitations, you may waste your own time looking at homes that are outside of your price range. You may even end up buying at the very maximum of what you can afford and not be able to enjoy the lifestyle you had before purchasing a home. A short conversation with a mortgage lender will go a long way in your home search, especially if you begin your journey with this step. It is highly recommended you be pre-approved vs. pre-qualified. Many things can happen that a lender can not see when you are only pre-qualified. Knowing the difference is very important; pre-approval means that you are far closer to receiving a mortgage loan commitment from a lender than with just a pre-qualification. A pre-approval can help take some of the guesswork out of the home buying process. In the eyes of any seller, you are considered a “stronger buyer” with pre-approval status rather than just a pre-qualification letter.
  3. Find a Real Estate Agent: They will provide you with the local market reports, and keep you up to date on new listings that match your criteria. Aside from a Realtor’s main responsibilities they will also be an educator, explaining to you the process of buying a home. When choosing an Agent, the most important thing to look for is trust. You have to be able to trust that your Realtor has your best interests and buying goals in mind and not their own. There is a large difference between selling you a house and helping you find your desired lifestyle. The type of agent you want to work for you is one who isn’t afraid to tell you what you don’t want to hear. You should want and need an honest agent representing you.
  4. Search Homes Online: Searching online will help you narrow down areas that best suit what you’re looking for. Also, take a drive around your desired neighborhoods to get a feel for it. Location is one of the most important aspects of buying a home, never sacrifice, you can always change the paint or landscaping.
  5. Preview Homes in Person: At this point you should have a clear understanding of what you can afford, who you want to represent you, as well as specific locations you’re interested in. If you don’t have one of these three things, you are likely not ready to preview homes in person, even if you think you are.
  6. Write an Offer: Some people are quick to make an offer, and others move much slower. Once you find something you love, don’t hesitate!
  7. Schedule dates and times: Upon acceptance of your offer, set your dates and times for what is to follow. This includes your closing dates, inspections, and many other dates that will be stepping stones in buying your first home. There is a good change your lender will determine most of these dates, as they are the ones who will be having the home appraised.
  8. Close and Receive Keys! Once you closed and signed all the necessary paperwork, you will be congratulated and handed the keys to your First Home!! This is the most exciting step of the whole process! Now you can relax and move into your new house!

Often times people will start looking at homes for sale online before they are ready to buy, sometimes years in advance. There is a curiosity among renters about what you may be able to afford vs continually paying a landlord each month. Home ownership is one of the best investments a person can make. When you start your home buying process with a solid education, a clear understanding of your finances, and an excellent Realtor, you are dressed for Success! Good Luck!