Buying a house is a big step and a huge financial hit. With these steps, you can be prepared for everything you need to buy a house. Keep in mind that this process takes time.
- Save up for a down payment
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage
- Get a real estate agent
- Start searching for a house
- Make an offer
- Get the home inspected
- Get the home appraisal
- Close the deal on your new home
This step is absolutely crucial. Yes, there are government programs out there to help you buy a house without a down payment, but it’s not a good idea in the long-run.
By saving up for a down payment, usually at least 20% of the price of the home, you’ll be in a better financial situation than if you jump the gun on buying a house.
An ideal situation would be to pay off all your debt before adding more to it with a home purchase. You should also have about 3-6 months of expenses in your savings in case of an emergency. This is important because when you own your own home, you have to pay for all of the repairs that come with it, instead of passing them off to your landlord. Owning a home is expensive.
If you are able to buy a house with cash, do it! You’ll save a lot of money by not having to pay interest. But if that’s not an option, you’ll have to get a mortgage.
Talk with a lender about your financial situation to get pre-approved. They’ll have to verify your financial information and submit the loan to the preliminary underwriting process. By having your loan pre-approved, you can show this when making an offer on a house. It proves that you are a serious buyer.
A real estate agent can help you know what to do when making an offer on a home. They can also help negotiate the price down. And the best part is when buying a home, you don’t have to pay the real estate agent. The seller takes care of paying the buying agent and the selling agent.
This is the fun part. Do your research on what features you want in a home and what you can get with your budget. Make a list and set up a time to go out with your real estate agent and tour the homes. If you’re having trouble finding something in our budget and with the features you want, ask your real estate agent to help you.
Once you’ve found a house that you want, submit an offer and sign contract agreements with the sellers. Having your loan pre-approved and a flexible closing date can make your offer more desirable.
A home inspection can help save you from buying a money pit house. By setting up contingencies in your contract, you can back out of buying a home if it doesn’t meet certain expectations. If major issues are found in the home, you can ask the seller to pay for repairs, lower the price, or back out of the sale altogether.
An appraisal is done so you don’t pay more for a home than it’s actually worth. Your real estate agent can help you if the appraisal comes in lower than the price of your offer.
To close on your home you have to fill out a lot of paperwork. You should also expect to pay for a couple of things when closing. These include closing costs, prorated property tax, HOA fees, and homeowners insurance.
Once the paperwork is filled out, you are a homeowner!