Whether you are a new homeowner or desiring to make the move to a different residence, the home buying process can be tremendously stressful. Searching for a home, negotiating a deal, arranging financing, and making the move can take up the better part of your time.
With time being the precious commodity that it is, wouldn’t it be great if you could streamline the process? We’re going to do that for you as this article outlines a 7 step process for buying a home from beginning the search to moving in. You’ll want to bookmark this page and check out the helpful links to tools we will share that can help you along the way.
Your Step By Step Home Buying Plan
Analyze the numbers – before you start your home search, identifying what you can afford is the first order of business. By using payment and affordability calculators, you can determine what you can afford and what your monthly mortgage payments will be. Analyze the numbers and you’ll have a good sense of what homes are within your price range.
Finding your home – most home shoppers work with a real estate agent to help them find a home. Before setting foot in a realtor’s office, consider going online to look at home listings, house styles, FSBO sites, foreclosures, and what local builders have to offer. You can expedite the home shopping process by understanding the type of home you want, prices, and location.
Making the offer – the offer you make on a home will be based on a number of factors. If it is a buyer’s market than your negotiation strength will be good. Conversely, in a seller’s market you may have to go up against other buyers who may be willing to drive up their bid in order to win the home. Check neighborhood housing comparables (comps) to make sure that your offer matches local home values. Check the contract to learn exactly what you are buying, i.e. kitchen appliances, security system, above ground pool, etc. Included extras such as draperies, lawn furniture or a shed can sweeten the deal.
Understanding costs — besides your monthly mortgage payment, escrow costs which include property tax and homeowners insurance, must be factored in. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) may be required by your lender if your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s price.
Qualify for financing – there are four factors a lender will look at when considering your loan application: the home appraisal, your credit rating, and your ability to pay back the loan. Once you are qualified, the type of loan you choose (adjustable, fixed, balloon, etc.) will determine your monthly payments and costs.
Closing and settlement – a home inspection and final walk through will ensure that the home you are purchasing is delivered to you in an acceptable condition. Closing costs must be factored in when buying a home, amounting to an additional $3-5,000 or more on top of your purchase price.
Moving in – whether you move your furnishings yourself or use the services of a moving company, you’ll want to time the connection of your utilities to take place as close as possible to your move in date. Gas, electric, water, phone and cable are some of the services you will want to have working when you move in. Notifying the post office of your address change, voter’s registration, and finding local services are other tasks you will want to handle as soon as possible.
Once you are settled in to your new home, take a breath before tackling home improvement projects. Yes, we have a guide that can help you out there too!