The purchase of real estate is an exciting process, but there are many steps that are required for the transaction. I have prepared a list below for you to follow so that you can be best prepared.
Step 1: Begin The Research
Begin your preliminary research of areas that you are most interested in. Take note of the properties and price points that are currently in the market. This will give you an idea of what neighborhoods might be best for you to consider.
Step 2: Determine Your Comfortable Budget
Consider your budget, debt and amount of funds you have available for a down payment. A lender will still have to qualify you for a loan, but you should make this determination based on your own level of comfort as well given your lifestyle.
Step 3: Get Prequalified
Before you start your home search, you will need to explore how much you can spend. The best way to go about this is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you will need to contact a reputable mortgage broker and provide some of your personal information and details. Your lender will then inform you of how much you will be approved for which will dictate what price range of homes you can begin looking for. It is important to provide them with accurate data for the pre-approval as you will have to eventually follow up with supporting documents, credit reports, etc. to verify your financial status.
Step 4: Search for Homes and Make an Offer
Once you begin viewing homes in your price range, be sure to take notes as you may see many houses. When you visit homes in different neighborhoods, consider things like convenience to local services, your place of employment and other things that address your lifestyle.
Once you find the home of interest, submit your offer with your preapproval letter.
Step 5: Home Inspection
A home inspection is a significant event as it can check for signs of structural damage or items that may need repair. Offers are most often made contingent of a satisfactory home inspection to protect the buyer. Any negotiated items that shall be addressed by the seller can be confirmed before the closing at the walk-through.
Step 6: Home Appraisal
Your lender will arrange for the home to have an appraisal conducted. The appraiser will be from a 3rd party company that is not directly connected so there is not a conflict of interest. The appraisal will confirm to all parties that the price you are paying is a fair price for the property.
Step 7: Complete the Necessary Paperwork
Your lender will arrange for a title company to review documents and ensure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house. In addition, you will need to complete your loan package by providing your lender with supporting documents that prove your employment and financial status.
Step 8: The Closing
After your final walk-through of the property, you will move on to the closing. Here, you will sign all legal documents to complete the purchase including your loan paperwork. Once complete and the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new home.