Steps to Buying a Home
Buying Your New Home
Looking for a new home can be an exciting and challenging experience. Having a real Estate Professional that takes the time to understand your unique goals, needs and lifestyle is important.
Our associates work hard to not only find the perfect home for you, but also to handle every last detail of the purchase, from implementing out initial consultation, negotiating the terms of the sales, handling all the transactional details and recommending moving companies. To help you get started on buying your new home, take advantage of these valuable steps.
- Step 1: Decide to Buy
- Step 2: Hire Your Agent
- Step 3: Secure Financing
- Step 4: Find Your Home
- Step 5: Make an Offer
- Step 6: Perform Due Diligence
- Step 7: Close
- Step 8: Protect Your Investment
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Yet, so many of us are really “just looking” rather than seriously considering changing the location of our home. Why is it that you want to find a new home? Has your lifestyle changed enough to warrant this type of investment? Until you identify your NEEDS and your WANTS, you’ll find it very hard to find just the right home for you.
- There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding a good buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.
- A home purchase is an important step in the path to long-term wealth. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that provides specific financial advantages, including equity buildup, value appreciation potential and tax benefits. It’s also an automatic savings plan that you cannot get from renting!
- Here’s the most important rule for keeping your stress to a minimum: you don’t have to know everything. Your Urbane Realty Group consultant is ready to help you through every step of the process.
Once you’ve decided to buy a home, find a great real estate consultant. What you’re looking for is a Buyer’s Agent. This means that the consultant represents YOU as the buyer, rather than the person selling the home. They will have YOUR best interests at heart.
Really good consultants know their markets, and will help you find the best match for your needs and wants. They can also recommend mortgage brokers with whom they’ve worked with in the past.
A great real estate consultant will:
- Educate you about the current conditions of the market.
- Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
- Coordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
- Negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
- Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
- Solve any problems that may arise.
If possible, get “pre-approved” for a loan in the amount you’re willing to borrow. With this pre-approval, you’re in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready – rather than finding your dream home, only to lose it to another buyer, because you were waiting on the approval.
Be sure to follow these six steps to financing your home:
- Choose a loan officer.
- Make a loan application and get preapproved.
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
Now that you have your “wish list,” your consultant, and your “pre-approval” in hand, go forth and find yourself a home. As you go through homes, make sure to keep the listing notes of your impressions of the house, and a photo (if possible) in a notebook, so you can remember all the homes you’ve seen. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability a priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
Once you find your home, work through your consultant to make an offer. Typically your first offer is going to be lower than the listing price. Listen to your consultant; they’re representing you and know what homes have sold for in that neighborhood. Rarely will the seller accept this first offer, so they’ll counter with another price. Back and forth you’ll go until you settle on a price. (This is where the consultant is really using their expertise).
- The three basic components of your purchase offer are price, terms and contingencies.
- Price is the dollar amount you are approved for, willing and able to pay.
- Terms cover the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
- Contingencies are clauses that let you out of the deal if the house has a problem that didn’t exist or which you weren’t aware of when you went under contract. They specify any event that will need to take place in order for you to fulfill the contract.
You’ll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Just because you love a particular property doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. In fact, this is where reason has to trump emotion. You’ll need to have a property inspection (which we highly recommend you attend) that will expose hidden issues. This way you’ll know what you are getting into before you sign closing papers.
- Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage. This can come from water damage, shifting ground, or poor construction when the house was built.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s the inspector’s job to mark everything discovered no matter how large or small. The inspectors report may be long, but, things that are easily fixed can be overlooked for the time being.
- If you have a big problem it will show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist and if the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
- Even if your home passes inspection, you’ll still need to buy a home owner’s insurance policy that protects you against loss or damage to the property itself and against liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property.
Once you’ve made your offer and have completed the inspection process, you’re in the “home” stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don’t put your closing date, or your mortgage at risk, you have a few pre-closing responsibilities that you’ll need to be mindful of. These include:
- Staying in control of your credit and finances. If you are tempted to make any large purchases during this time, it’s best to talk to your lender first.
- Keeping in touch with your agent and lender, returning all phone calls and completing paperwork promptly.
- Communicating with your agent at least once or twice a week, and verifying with your lender that all mortgage funding steps are completed.
- Conducting a final walk-through of the home with your agent.
- Confirming with your agent, home insurance professional, and lender that you have the settlement statement, certified funds, and evidence of insurance lined up prior to closing.
Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, but just like any big process, there’s a maintenance plan! It’s now your responsibility, and in your best financial interest, to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home’s systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear.
And remember, just because the sale is complete, your relationship with your agent doesn’t need to end! After closing, your agent can still help you – providing information for your tax returns, finding contractors and repair services, and even tracking your home’s current market value.
Get started today by contacting an URG consultant! – Link to Our agents page