Home Buying: 10 Steps to Your Home
Monday, April 01, 2019 • Home Buying, How To • By: Anne Larson
Home Buying: 10 Steps to Your Home
Buying your home can be a stressful process at times. True Blue Real Estate will outline 10 Steps to Buying Your Home, and how we’ll set you up for success in your home search venture.
Step 1: Check Your Credit Report and Score
Knowing what your credit score is, prior to the home search, is a huge step that can be overlooked. Your credit score can impact many factors in your home buying capabilities. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate on your mortgage. Your credit score can also affect your closing costs. Be sure to check out your credit report, too, and see what is factoring into that score. A good resource for any credit and mortgage related questions, would be a lender. Here are True Blue Real Estate’s trusted resources for mortgages:
Kevin Litwicki with Stampfli Mortgage
Claudine Carvolho with Summit Credit Union
Step 2: Determine How Much You Can Afford
You’ve found your lender you want to use, and now you want to decide how much you can afford. Your lender will have likely given you a pre-qualification at this point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you want to spend. Based on your down payment, interest rate, property taxes, and home prices in the areas you’re looking, you’ll want to figure out what your monthly payment will look like. When you’ve decided on what that will look like, with help from your lender, you’re one step closer to buying a home.
Step 3: Find a Real Estate Agent
You may have been lucky enough to find your Real Estate Agent earlier in the process than step 3. But, finding your Real Estate Agent now is a crucial step to home buying. This will take away the greatest amount of stress (aside from financing), because they can guide (or tell you who to turn to) you in every aspect of the home buying search and purchase. Your agent is your confidante, advocate and knowledgable guru to your Real Estate needs. Your Real Estate Agent will set you up on a saved search, which will reflect what you’ve told them are your home buying “must haves” and top locations.
Step 4: Start Looking at Homes
At this point in your home buying quest, you should have received your pre approval letter from the lender of choice. With that, your trusted Realtor, locations of interest, and price range; you are ready to go full steam ahead into your home search. Look online, attend open houses, and have your Realtor set up showings for you to view homes of interest. Don’t miss a beat, see the homes as soon as available, and ask all the questions. Because, you never know, the next showing may just be your first or next home.
Step 5: Make an Offer
You’ve found the one! Now is the time to have your Real Estate agent draft an offer to purchase. Price is not the only item to discuss in an offer. To make your offer favorable, there are other terms that your Real Estate Agent will address with you. How will your agent support price? Is it too high, too low, just right? What contingencies will you want to include? Inspection, financing, appraisal, home sale? How about any testing? Once your agent has completed the offer, and you’ve signed, they will submit it. At that point you wait, you wait for an acceptance, a rejection or possibly a counter offer. Once you’ve received the “yes,” it’s time to celebrate and head to #6!
Step 6: Home Inspection
One of the more important steps in the home buying process, is your home inspection. Not only is it a time for the home inspector to potentially uncover any unseen defects, but also a time to show you how your home operates and how you should maintain it. It’s a great time to ask questions about your home, see your home again prior to owning/closing on it, and discuss with your Real Estate Agent how you’ll proceed with asking the Seller for any desired repairs, replacements or credits.
Step 7: Loan Commitment
At this point you will likely have your lender’s “final approval” for financing the loan. You will have received the appraisal of the property, which will put value to the property you are purchasing. This value may have come in at, above or below purchase price. If below purchase price, there would have been further negotiations between yourself and the Seller. Your financing contingency is satisfied with a signed copy of the loan commitment, and this is extremely exciting, because this is probably your last contingency in the offer… and, one step closing to buying your home!
Step 8: Setting up Utilities/Gas Services and Final Walk Through
You’ll want to contact the utility and natural gas company used for that home, to update them on your closing date and contact information for new owner. This is important to do prior to moving in, to be sure there’s no lapse in services. The final walk through will be the last time you see “your” home before it’s actually YOUR home. This is a time for you and your Real Estate Agent to check in on any replacements or repairs made from that inspection, see the home post move out from the Sellers, and just enjoy being that next step closer to your move in date and owning your home.
Step 9: Closing Day!
The day is finally here! Excitement is likely spilling over about your home purchase, and all the hard work leading up to this day is well deserved by collecting the keys to your new home. The closing will be filled with a lot of paperwork signing, but once you’re done with that, your next step is…
Step 10: Keys to Your New Home!
Your home buying experience is now complete! Take a deep breath, enjoy your amazing new home, and the memories and adventures to come in homeownership.
As always, reach out to your trusted True Blue Real Estate Agent if you have any questions about the process or getting started.