Home Buyer's Step-By-Step Guide
So you've decided to buy a home - now what? Knowing what to expect and having a solid game plan will help keep you and your objectives on track. Here is an overview of the buying process and how you can prepare for this exciting transaction:
- 1. Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of whether you're ready to buy a home. Create a list that outlines each of your reasons for homeownership, you may need it later if you get cold feet. If you're trading up or down, or if you're a first-time homebuyer, make sure you have a thorough understanding of how the change will impact your lifestyle.
- 2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. The process will increase your creditability as a serious buyer and will determine how much home you can afford so that you don't waste time shopping properties that are out of your price range.
- 3. Hire a Realtor! Purchasing a home is likely the largest financial investment you'll ever make so it's only prudent to seek guidance from an experienced professional. Your Realtor can show you properties and neighborhoods that meet your criteria, help you formulate a reasonable purchase offer, and help you understand the disclosure laws pertinent to your purchase transaction.
- 4. Start shopping for homes. It's a good idea to be armed with a list of must have features and those that you'd like to have. Now also is the time to research prospective neighborhoods.
- 5. Once you've found the perfect home and submitted a purchase offer, don't forget to include the home inspection or inspections contingency. Prepare for negotiations by outlining the concessions you're willing to make and those that you won't even consider. The list will come in handy when you're involved in price negotiations.