Buying a new home can be a scary process full of uncertainty, stress, and second-guessing. We here at Wholesome Homes are committed to helping make this process as painless and worry-free as possible. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of nine and a half steps to further clarify responsible home buying and provide a roadmap for prospective buyers to follow to ensure a beneficial first experience in the world of home ownership.
1) Determine your budget.
Having a realistic idea of your financial means is crucial before buying a house. Buying a house that is outside your means is dangerous and can have a devastating effect on your credit rating and you’re future real estate purchases. Also, having a general idea of your means can help narrow down your best options within your price range without spoiling you with choices outside of your budget. Being realistic in the beginning stages of your search is the first step to happiness in your new home.
2) Get preapproved for a loan.
Determining your budget is an important first step for yourself, but getting preapproved for a loan is the first actual step in the purchasing process. The bank you get your financing through is going to look over your investments, debts, savings, and equity to determine how much you can afford and how much they can safely lend you based on your income and collateral. From there you have a jumping off point to begin earnestly considering your choices. 3.5) Find a good real estate agent. Purchasing through an agent isn’t a crucial necessity, but considering the complexity of the modern real estate and the scope of some markets having an expert along for the ride can be beneficial. However, the choice to hire an agent is strictly up to you.
3) Search the local market for the right house.
With the first two steps under your belt, searching the market is the next step in the purchasing process. Looking at the homes in or around your price range, you are in a position to see what is available and what properties match your personal needs and offer the most possibilities.
4) Get an Inspection of the property.
Once you find a home that fits your criteria it is wise to have it inspected to see that it is structurally sound and marketed honestly by the seller. If all is well you can go forward with your offer based on the asking price. However, if the house is lacking in one or more areas this can be brought up in negotiations to either bring the price down or allow you to explore other homes before being locked down.
5) Make an initial offer.
After deciding on a budget, getting a loan preapproval, finding a home, and having it inspected you are now in a position to evaluate its worth and make an offer on the house based on your finances and research.
6) Negotiate a final price.
It is up to the seller if they will accept your initial offer or propose a counteroffer. Either way, after an initial offer is submitted a dialogue begins between the buyer and seller, and at that point, negotiations either culminate in a sale or result in a return to step #3.
7) Finalize your loan.
If negotiations finalize amicably between both parties the next step is finalizing the loan from the bank to complete the sale.
8) Put up a down payment.
Down payments usually are usually between 10-20% of the agreed upon price and are due upon the signing of the paperwork. The money goes into escrow until the deal finalizes and ownership changes hands.
9) Move in.
All that’s left at this point is to sigh a breath of relief, roll up your sleeves, move into your new house, and enjoy your new life as a homeowner.