Step 1: Are You Ready?
The first step to buying a home is determining whether you’re actually ready. Buying a home is time consuming and can be emotionally overwhelming. There is a way to make this process easier, such as getting preapproved for a loan (see steps 2 and 4). If you’re thinking about changing careers or haven’t decided where you want to live long term, you might want to postpone your homebuying plans.
Step 2: Get Your Finances In Order
You’ll need at least 5% of your potential purchase price in cash for the down payment, and you’ll want to get your monthly debt payments to a minimum. Check your credit scores (it’s a myth you get dinged for this) and talk to a financial advisor about any changes you should be making.
Step 3: Research Neighborhoods, Schools and Homes
Start touring your town to get an idea of what is available, prices etc. You may check out internet listings, take walks through your favorite neighborhoods, drive by homes for sale, research schools, parks, access to shopping, beaches, museums, etc. Make a list of “must haves”.
Step 4: Get Mortgage Pre-Approval
Mortgage pre-approval allows you to focus on homes you can afford. It’s also required by sellers who want to ensure that a buyer is qualified to buy.
Step 5: Explore Homes With A Local Realtor.
If you’re looking for a competitive edge in your real estate hunt, we always recommend working with a designated, local Realtor®. He or she can show you around town, give you tips on the best neighborhoods, and help you connect with homes that meet your search criteria. I can send you listings as soon as they hit the market, so you can be first to see them!
Step 6: Make An Offer
When you find a home that meets your criteria, it’s time to make an offer. Your agent will prepare the offer, explain the home buying process, required documents.
Step 7: Offer Accepted!
If your offer is accepted, it’s time to close. This is when you should hire a home inspector to check over the property, finalize your home insurance, arrange an appraisal and work out any outstanding details with your mortgage lender. I will guide you thru the escrow process and hand you the keys when the escrow closes.
Step 8: Final Safety Tasks
Once you’ve purchased your home and you’re ready to move in, there are a few important safety tasks to complete. First, replace the locks. You may be surprised who can end up with keys to a lock—just don’t let them surprise you in your own home! Fire safety should also be a number one priority, especially in a home you aren’t entirely familiar with. Invest in a few fire extinguishers and test all the smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly. This is also a great time to implement a safety escape plan and install a first-aid kid.
Contact me anytime with any questions you might have. Call 310.918.5027 today!