Buying a house can be both exciting and stressful. I will help walk you through the process.
Step 1: Determine How Much House You Can Afford
Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual income if the buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and a have moderate amount of other debt.
Step 2: Get Prequalified and Preapproved for credit for Your Mortgage
Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how you can actually spend. The best way is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you need to provide some financial information to your mortgage broker, such as your income and the savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at. Later, you can get preapproved for credit, which involves providing your financial documents so your lender can verify your financial status and credit.
Step 3: Find the Right Real Estate Agent. I recommend Rusty Greene at Century 21
Real estate agents are important partners when you are buying a home. As your real estate agent I can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. My knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – the buying agent is compensated from the commission paid by the seller.
Step 4: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer
Take as much time as you need to find the right home. I will work with you to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of the homes in the same neighborhood. Once you have agreed on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.
Step 5: Get a Home Inspection
Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that might need fixing. I will help you arrange this inspection which is usually conducted within a few days of the offer being accepted. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. Both you and the seller will receive a report on the inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before the closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
Step 6: Work with a Mortgage Banker to Select Your Loan
Lenders have a wide range of competitively priced loan programs. You will have many questions when you are purchasing a home and having an experienced banker assist you will make the process much easier. I will be glad to give you a list of local lenders to help you if needed.
Step 7: Have a Home Appraised
The lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraisal will let all parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Step 8: Coordinate the Paperwork
As you can image, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your lender will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.
Step 9: Close the Sale
At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents.
Step 10: Move in and start Enjoying Your New Home