Congratulations on taking your first steps to buying a home. Since buying a home is usually the most significant purchase anyone will make you’ll want to become more familiar with the process. The more you become aware of the home-buying process, the more easily you can purchase the home of your dreams.
Below are vital first steps to buying a home.
Hire a Buyer’s Agent
One reason why some people may think that they don’t need a buyer’s agent is that they don’t understand how a buyer’s agent represents them throughout the home buying process. A buyer’s agent has experience working in the location that you are considering. They know about schools, geography (e.g., floodplains), and other considerations like whether a home will be near an airport. A buyer’s agent can help you find homes that fit your price point.
This agent is legally obligated to represent you, the buyer. They will negotiate contracts and walk you through the entire home-buying process. Their loyalty lies with you. A buyer’s agent knows all the ins and outs of the buying process as a whole and can help you every step of the way, including taking you on home tours, previewing properties for you, and helping you find movers, attorneys, and inspectors. An excellent buyer’s agent is an invaluable tool and should be one of your first steps to buying a home.
Hire a Mortgage Professional
Buying a new home can be a daunting endeavor. However, if you have the right mortgage broker, they can help guide you and educate you about the many different types of loans available in today’s market. Once you’re informed, you will feel much more secure in your home search.
Your buyer’s agent should be able to suggest a reputable mortgage broker whom they have worked with and trust. A mortgage broker will investigate your financial history to ensure that your search focuses on the correct price range. They will also give you your pre-approval letter. Obtaining this letter allows you better peace of mind during your home search because you can make an offer without worries over last-minute disqualifications.
Go Out and Find Your Home
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, some common blunders will keep first-time homebuyers from finding a home that is truly right for them. For example, many first-time homebuyers believe they will find the “perfect” home. Finding a “perfect” home as a first-time homebuyer is rare.
Being a first-time homebuyer often means that you need to have a specific vision. You may not be able to check off every single item on your dream home wish list. Perhaps you will have to live with outdated décor, old carpeting, or kitchen countertops that aren’t your preferred material.
But it is essential to understand that you can fix nearly every cosmetic issue. You can even negotiate some of these problems into the terms of the contract by your buyer’s agent. Renovation loans also may be able to provide the funds for the desired changes.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it can also be dangerous to fall in love with a specific home. Try to keep an open mind. If you fall in love with a house based on emotional factors, it can cause you to lose focus on other issues with the home that you may find hard to deal with once you are living in it.
While going through your first steps to buying a home, overcoming emotional factors can be extremely challenging, so it’s important to be aware of them.
Make an Offer and Go Under Contract
Putting the house under contract is another area where it is a great help to have a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can search out market comparables in the subject property’s neighborhood. Searching market comparables means that the buyer’s agent will research the recent selling prices of other homes in the area.
With this information, you can make an educated decision about how much you want to offer for the house. Negotiating is a great tool when buying a home. However, many first-time homebuyers expect to get a certain percentage off the asking price, which may not be realistic. Negotiation is another reason that knowing the comparable rates in the area will come in handy.
If the home is priced reasonably based on the rest of the market, you may not be able to negotiate the price of the house as low as you might hope.
Hire an Inspector
A full inspection is a crucial part of buying a home. Inspections usually average around $500 and are money well spent. No matter how great a home may appear to the naked eye, there can be many non-obvious or latent issues that could end up causing you undue stress. A full inspection can alleviate this fear.
If the Inspector finds problems during the report, your buyer’s agent can ask for them to be fixed by the seller before the sale of the home closes. If the issues are too significant, you may have saved yourself from many future headaches. An inspection riddled with extensive problems may be your signal to continue your home search. Your buyer’s agent will be able to help you find a reputable inspector.