Congratulations! You have decided you want to make the leap to homeownership, but now what? For first time homebuyers the process can seem daunting, but we are here to help! Some decisions you make leading up to the purchase of your home can greatly affect how much you will pay for your house in the long run. Here are the steps to ensure that your home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible.
- Start doing your research now
Buying a home may be one of the biggest decisions in your life. The last thing you want to do is rush into buying a home. Do some research on the area you are planning on moving to, then figure out what style of house you like and the general price ranges.
- Determine your Budget
Calculate out your monthly costs and annual household income to make sure you can afford a mortgage and the added costs of home ownership. This will also help you determine your price range when looking for a house.
- Get preapproved
Once you determine a price range for a home you are comfortable with, speak with a banker to get preapproved for a mortgage. This will involve bringing in your financial documents to the bank and they will tell you how much you can spend on a home.
- Start Seriously Looking
With your preapproval in hand, it’s time to start looking at houses in earnest. Find houses that fall within your price range. This is the part where you can seek the advice of a real estate agent for help on finding homes in the neighborhoods you like and that are in your price range.
- Get a home inspection
Most offers on a house are contingent on an inspection. An inspector will check the home for any damage or serious issues. It is at this time you can renegotiate the price or say that certain damages must be fixed before you close on the house.
- Have the home appraised
Have an independent appraiser determine if you are paying a fair price for the house.
- Sign all of the paperwork and close the sale