A home is one of the most important investments most of us make in our lifetime, so it’s important that you know the “in’s and out’s” of the purchase before you start.
Steps to Purchasing a Home
- Absolutely most important! Make sure you maintain good credit, without good credit you can’t buy a home.
- Decide where you want to live, if there are a few areas, that’s fine, but try to decide specifically “where”.
- School districts may be very important to you, especially if you have children, but you should also think of exit strategies and only buy in good school districts as that will add considerable value later, when you’re selling your home.
- Decide how much you want to put toward a mortgage every month, it should be more than what you’d pay for rent, as this is an investment, but it should be a comfortable amount for you and your family. Remember that you don’t want to live and work for your house, so keep that in mind.
- Reduce expenses monthly, i.e., movies, dinners out, new car, etc.
- Get referrals from family, friends or co-workers for a good loan officer who has lots of years in the business, as that’s usually an indication of great service. Work with them to get a prequalification letter and decide on a loan program that’s in your best interest.
- Find an agent that knows your area of interest, and has some years in the business, as that again, usually means good service.
The fun starts once you get your prequalification letter. That tells your agent what price range that they need to be looking in for a home for you. You should give your real estate agent the criteria you want her/him to use, i.e. how many bedrooms/baths/lot or interior square footage, etc, so they can put it into their search engine, as well, and come up with homes that fit your needs and desires. Your agent will usually send you these homes to your email account, so that you can peruse them at your leisure and decide which you’d like to go view in person. You send your agent the chosen properties and she/he will set up appointments to view these homes for you and once you decide on a home that you like best your agent will then help you decide on the best offer and terms with the likelihood of acceptance from the seller.
You are now armed with all the info you need to begin the home buying process.