If you’re thinking of buying a home, below you will find some useful steps to go through as you prepare for the experience.
Get your finances in order
The first step every home buyer should tackle is to figure out their finances. Buying a home (particularly for the first time) requires a mortgage, where a lender fronts you the money and you pay them back over time. However, in order to get a mortgage, you will likely need to put down some sort of down payment.
So how much do you need? A mortgage down payment can be as low as 0% for certain types of mortgages like VA loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, or 3, 5, 10, or 20%.
You’ll also need to check your credit score. Websites like experian.com make it easy to access that information and can even help you to boost your score which will help you to get a better mortgage rate.
Once you’ve got some money saved and know what your credit score is, it’s time to get a pre-approval letter from your lender! This is where you will speak to a loan officer, they will gather information about your personal situation and give you a number that you can purchase upto. They’ll also tell you what you can expect your monthly payments for a home of that amount can be.
If you haven’t yet found a lender to help you out, Allan has fantastic contacts that he is happy to share. They work hard to make the process fast and easy!
Start the search!
Now that you’ve got your pre-approved it’s time to start the fun part! The home search! You’ll let Allan know what your budget is, based on the number provided to you by your lender. As well you’ll discuss with Allan the area you want to be in and number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’d like.
After that he will set up a personalized MLS home search for you. Allan will send you a link that you will allow you to easily access the search. You will see pictures and important information on each of the properties. If you see one you love you’ll just hit the “heart” button so that Allan know that is a property you’d like to see.
Get out to look at the
houses you’ve chosen
Now that you’ve decided which houses you’d like to see it’s time to get out with your Allan to your top home choices. You’ll have time to look around and picture yourself living in the space. This is an important time to ask questions about the home like when the roof was last replaced or when the AC was installed. You should take time to check out the finishes in the home and imagine how you can put your stamp on the home.
Make an offer
Now that you’ve found the home you want it’s time to make an offer to the seller. Allan will speak with you about the “comps” in the area. This is a report of what other recent homes of the same type and size have recently sold for. Allan will let you know what he thinks the home is worth and together you will come up with a number you’d like to offer the seller.
Get a home inspection
A home inspection is where you hire a home inspector to check out the house from top to bottom to determine if there are any problems with it that might make you think twice about moving forward. Think: termites, faulty foundation, mold, asbestos, etc. Sure, a lot can go wrong, but rest assured that most problems are fixable.
*Allan works with the areas BEST home inspector!
Get a home appraisal
Next your lender will want to conduct a home appraisal. This is where they check out the house to make sure it’s a good investment. It’s similar to a home inspection, but for your lender.
Head to closing
Closing is the day you officially get the keys to your new home—and pay all the various parties involved. That will include your down payment for your loan, plus closing costs, the extra fees you pay to process your loan.
Done with closing? Got your loan? Congratulations, you’ve officially graduated from a buyer to a homeowner! Now it’s time to get the moving truck unloaded and enjoy your new purchase for years to come!