10 Easy Steps to Buying a Home
Want to purchase a home, but not exactly sure how? Here's a quick little nugget to assist you in your efforts towards home-ownership.
1. Research!!! Figure out what type (style) of home piques your interest. With so many to consider (from Art Deco to Georgian) determining which is right for you can be a task in itself. Next, think about where (city, subdivision, area, school district, etc...) you would like to live. Visit the area during the day, at night, and on the weekends, to get a truer feel of what to expect.
2. Pocketbook!!! What can you afford? How much house can you pay for? When dealing with Lenders, they generally recommend clients search for houses that don't exceed more than three to five times the household’s annual income. Nevertheless, everyone's situation is different, and you should talk with your Lender.
3. Know Before You Go!!! By having a pre-approval letter or being pre-qualified, can alleviate heartbreak, and wasted time. The best example of this is spending time house hunting, only to be punched in the gut with the reality that the home you've selected is financially out of your reach. Having a pre-approval letter or being pre-qualified speeds up the process. Not only do you find the home of your dreams in your price range, but your agent can move in quickly with your offer. Properties can often receive multiple offers, but with your pre-work completed, your agent can show the Listing Agent and seller that you're a serious buyer.
4. Has Your Back!!! All Agents/Realtors are not the same. Make sure you find someone who will go toe-to-toe for you, and will represent your interest. There's a difference between transaction and relationship. Having an Agent who ends the relationship immediately after the deal has closed, can show that they were transaction minded. A Realtor driven by relationship is there during, and after the sale to ensure all aspects of the clients real estate needs have been addressed to the best of their ability. Their goal is to provide a "WOW" experience, in hopes of prompting their clients to recommend them to others in need of real estate services.
5. The Fun Begins!!! Once you've found your home, that's when your Agent/Realtor shines. Offers and negotiations are taking place, inspections are ordered, based on the inspection results-added negotiations are taking place, paperwork is flying, and so much more. It's important that your Agent is on top of all issues at hand. There are a multitude of timelines that must be adhered to. If timelines are missed, this can be detrimental to the deal, and the client.
6. A Duck On Water!!! While there is an absolute circus going on for the Agent, the client should only feel the calm in the storm. The best analogy of this is watching a graceful duck on water. While it's peaceful and tranquil to gaze at, if you had an underwater camera, the effort of paddling and energy exerted by the duck is anything but. The same can be said with your Agent. Your Real Estate Professional is juggling an enormous amount of conversations, paperwork, vendors, inspections, and more. Nevertheless, you should feel safe and well taken care of, knowing that their knowledge, tenacity, skill, and professionalism are hard at work for you.
7. ALMOST THERE!!! You will be working closely with your lender to get through Processing, and into Underwriting. The Lender will schedule a much needed property appraisal. The Appraiser works for a third party, and works independently. This is a very important and necessary step, because you want to make sure you're paying a fair price for the property.
8. No Cloudy Titles Here!!! Now you're ready to pick a title company. A good rule of thumb is to have your own title company, because then they can represent your best interest. As you can imagine, the abundance of paperwork is incredible. The title company is there to make sure that the property conveying to the new owner is receiving a clean title. They also ensure that the person who's selling the home, is the actual owner of the house. If you're unsure of which title company to select, you may want to talk with your Agent/Realtor.
9. IT'S CLOSING TIME!!! What an exciting time for a home-buyer!!! Typically, you will meet your Agent/Realtor, and together you will go to closing. There you sign all of the necessary documentation, bring your down payment, and closing cost fees. Once the title company has all of the signed docs, and money owed, your Agent/Realtor has the joy of presenting you with your new keys!!!
10. IT'S MOVING DAY!!! You've earned it!!! Celebrate in knowing that you've taken the steps to turn the key, and walk into your blessing!!! Congratulations.