Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you can make, but it can be confusing and stressful. It can feel like you’re bombarded with misleading information, confusing claims, and poor advice from family and friends who aren’t accountable or responsible to you for the advice they give. We believe that there are 10 steps to homeownership. Here we will give you a brief run down to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Decide to Buy
This is pretty self-explanatory, you have decided to begin the process of buying a home. Maybe your lease is almost ending at your current place, or maybe you are just starting to think about the process. Whether you are two months or two years out, we are always here to help you along the way.
2. Find Your Agent
The next step in the process is to find the right agent. There are countless ways to find a real estate agent, but the tough part is finding the right fit. You’ll want someone who has experience with many different types of markets, and someone that can educate you on the process.
3. Secure Financing
This will be one of the most important parts of your journey to homeownership. You will need to find a lender – your agent can help you with that – and become “pre-approved”. The lender will help you determine what you can be approved for, and this will help guide you in the process of finding your first home. Pre-approval is the formal commitment from a lender, this lets you know your exact budget, which makes home shopping a bit easier.
4. Identify Your Criteria
What is important to you? How many bedrooms/bathrooms do you need? (and how many do you want) Learn the difference between a need and a want, sometimes what you want is a three-car garage, but you only have the budget for a two-car garage. Lay out EVERYTHING, and then decide which is the most important to you.
5. Find Your Home
This is the fun part! During this phase, your agent will set up a search for homes on the market that fit your criteria. You are also welcome to look on your own, and send houses to your agent to set up showings. We also recommend that you go to open houses in the areas you like, and really just shop around.
6. Make An Offer
Once you find the home you want to purchase, your agent will help you decide the best and most competitive offer to place. This is where it is essential to have the right agent! Your agent will be submitting the offer and negotiating, when necessary, on your behalf.
7. Perform Due Diligence
After the offer is accepted there is a seven to ten day period where your agent is required to perform their due diligence. This means that your agent will comb through everything and make sure that everything in your contract is correct and ready to move forward. If you would like to get a home inspection now would be the time to do it!
As closing day approaches your agent and lender will be doing most of the work behind the scenes. It is important during pre-close to keep in close contact with your agent to be updated on the process. On closing day everything will be finalized and you should receive the keys to your home!
9. Move in and Protect Your Investment
Yay! You’ve made it to move-in day! This is a major accomplishment and a huge investment in your future. Make sure to protect this investment by keeping up with maintenance and generally keeping an eye out for small leaks or other issues in order to catch them early.
10. Enjoy Service for A Lifetime
Just because the purchase is over, doesn’t mean your agent will go away forever. A Real Estate Agent is an amazing resource for any and all things when it comes to your home. We have a recommendation for just about any service your home could need. Never hesitate to reach out even if it’s been years since your purchase, we are always here to help.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the process of buying a home and you would like a personalized plan to get you from point A to point B, I invite you to set up a home-buying consultation with us by calling 206-339-9677. Reach out to us today!