8 Steps to Home Buying
TRYING TO BUY A HOUSE CAN BE DAUNTING. ESPECIALLY IF YOu’re STILL A BIT SHELL-SHOCKED FROM OUR LAST REAL ESTATE DEBACLE. Listen, it DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO HARD. KNOWING WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND UNDERSTANDING THE LINGO CAN HELP you make smarter real estate choices. when i first became a real estate agent, i noticed that the people around me weren't interested in real estate. As i continued to ask why, i realized that most didn't really understand the process and even if they did, they were still nervous that it wasn't a smart investment. i was shocked at all the misinformation that was still lingering. so, i did my research and started writing.
I will start with the basics. THIS BLOG WILL LIST THE 8 STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE IN ORDER TO PURCHASE A HOME. THIS IS MAINLY FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS, BUT IT DOESN’T HURT TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOUR LAST PURCHASE.
I’VE BEEN APPROACHED BY A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BUY A HOME, BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO BEGIN OR IF THEY WILL EVEN QUALIFY FOR A LOAN. I will LIST THE 8 CRUCIAL STEPS TO TAKE, AND IN MY NEXT BLOGS I WILL TAKE EACH STEP AND BREAK THEM DOWN more thoroughly . SO AGAIN, THESE ARE JUST THE BULLET POINTS AND YOU CAN GET ALL THE STEP BY STEP DETAILS IN MY NEXT BLOGS.
Step # 1. Get your credit in order.
Unless you’re an all-cash buyer you will need need pretty decent credit to buy a home if you want a good interest rate. If you want to buy and you have bad credit there are a number of things you can do to get that score up. Most lenders have pretty set rules and guidelines for borrowing money, and just a few points can be the difference of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan. Each lender is different and has their own guidelines, but you still want a decent score to ensure that you are getting the best rate possible. Read my blog 7 Tips for Fixing Your Credit To Buy a House for the complete breakdown of how to improve your credit!
Step # 2. Find a realtor.
A realtor is key to helping you purchase a home, educate you on what steps to take, negotiate deals on your behalf and they can also help direct you to a lender or Mortgage broker, if you don’t already have one. As a realtor myself, I recommend meeting realtors face-to-face and interview them, make sure you’re a good fit together. Realtors act as the intermediary between buyers and sellers, acting on behalf of their clients for whatever needs they have while walking you through the process. This is a business relationship, and you need to feel comfortable with them as your fiduciary. Read my 5 Things To Look For In a Realtor for more information.
Step # 3: Get a pre approval.
This is where your lender comes in handy. Now most people (unless you’re an all cash buyer) need financing to purchase property. It’s important to find out how much you can afford and also what your estimated monthly mortgage will be before you start searching for that home. If you don’t already have a lender you trust, your real estate agent will most likely have a few referrals for you. Read more about it at The Pre Approval process.
Step # 4: The home search.
After you’ve been pre approved for a loan, your realtor will narrow down your criteria and start your search. Depending on what your local market looks like, this should be the most exciting part. Read more on my page The Property Search.
Step # 5: Making an offer.
Once you have found a home that you would like to purchase, it’s time to make an offer! There are plenty of ways to make your offer attractive and stand out over all the others, especially when it’s a sellers market. Not everything is about the highest purchase price, although appealing, sometimes the seller has other needs that outweigh the highest bid. Read my blog Writing An Offer for more info!
Step # 6: What is Escrow!?
The concept of Escrow is pretty confusing for most people. Everyone knows it’s coming but most people don’t actually know what the heck it is. Don’t worry, it’s not scary. The reason for the confusion is that “escrow” can mean more that one thing! It can usually be broken down into 3 basic concepts. The Escrow Company, an Escrow Account and the Escrow Timeline. Read my “WHAT IS ESCORW?” blog for a detailed description of each. Nothin scary here folks!
Step # 7: Escrow timeline.
Once you are officially “in escrow” it’s time to get moving! We have a contractually agreed upon timeline between all parties and there are a lot of moving parts. We have inspections, appraisals, contingency timelines, loan underwriting etc… This is why you have a real estate agent, we are here to facilitate all of this and make sure everything gets done according to the terms of the contract. Click here to read more about it!
Step # 8: Closing.
This is it! It’s time to make sure all the final documentation is buttoned up and an appointment with the title company has been made to sign the house over to you! It’s time to crack open that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving! Congratulations, you are now a homeowner!
Thank you for reading! I hope this helps. If it has, please comment and share!