10 STEPS TO BUYING A HOME

 

1. Start Your Research Early

Start reading Web sites, newspapers, and magazines that have real estate listings. Build a Budget. An effective budget will map out your plan to set aside money for your down payment and additional costs.
 

2. Get Pre-Approved Or Pre-Qualified

Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much we can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.
 

3. Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. He/she will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the homebuying process, negotiate the best possible price for your home and deliver your closing documentation.
 

4. Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer

It is time to view available homes in the area of your choice. The real estate agent will locate and screen homes for the buyer and present him or her with the options that best match the established criteria.
 

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 may need fixing. You can choose to make your offer to purchase the home conditional on the outcome of your inspection. If your inspection reveals major problems, you can negotiate those repairs with the seller before your deal closes, or legally withdraw your offer.
 

6. Work with a Mortgage Banker to Select Your Loan

Lenders have a wide range of competitively priced loan programs and a reputation for exceptional customer service. If you don’t have the 20% down payment for a conventional mortgage, you can get a high ratio mortgage, combined with mortgage default insurance, that allows for a smaller down payment.
 

7. Have the Home Appraised

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender.
 

8. Get a Lawyer

It’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. You could find yourself in a bidding war for the home you want, and it doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer look over any offer to purchase before you submit it. A real estate lawyer will also conduct a title search and check for outstanding taxes and liens on the property.
 

9. Moving Preparations

There’s a lot to do before you move. Line up utilities and other services like phone, cable and internet. If you rent, you must give your landlord notice. Also, forward your mail to your new address and hire a moving company. Preparing these things well in advance will help you make a smooth transition to your new home.
 

10. Close the Sale

At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new home!