There are many thins included in purchasing a home: attending open houses, crunching the numbers, filling out applications and deciphering the home inspection report.
This timeline will assist you with all of the parts of your purchase.
STEP 1: Evaluate your life and finances
Before you even look at homes, take a good look at your situation and crunch the numbers to see if this is the right time for you to buy.
- Calculate a monthly mortgage payment you can afford.
- Create a budget for monthly homeowner expenses.
- Check your credit report and improve your credit score.
STEP 2: Do your homework
Prepare to do more research and evaluation. It may seem tedious now, but this discipline will serve you well as a homeowner. Learn about your prospective new neighborhood if you don’t live there already, and prepare for the loan process by determining where your down payment and closing costs will come from.
- Research the market where you want to buy.
- Figure out how you will get a down payment and pay closing costs.
- Using your budget, determine how much home you can afford.
STEP 3: Shop for a loan
You’ll be borrowing tens of thousands of dollars, so shop for the best interest rates and loan terms. Buying a home involves more than the sales price; there are fees for every part of the process. Make sure you understand everything you’re paying for.
- Learn the basics about your mortgage options.
- Shop for the best mortgage rate and loan terms.
- Get pre-approved.
- Figure out the impact on your taxes.
STEP 4: Find a house
It’s time to go house hunting! Hire a real estate agent to set up home tours and guide you through the process.
- Choose a neighborhood and type of house.
- See what’s available online.
- Shop for a real estate agent.
- Calculate the home’s market value.
- Make an offer.
STEP 5: Sign the contract
Unless you made a low-ball offer that offended the seller, expect to negotiate. The key is to find terms you both can agree on.
- Finalize the purchase and sale contract.
- Choose a title and escrow company that will research the title and coordinate the closing.
STEP 6: Close the deal
During the closing period, you’ll get an appraisal, title search and exam, home inspection and homeowners insurance. If all goes well, you’ll sign the paperwork and the keys are yours!
- Get an appraisal and a home inspection.
- Get homeowner’s insurance quotes and pay the premium.
- Consider and plan any improvement projects that require immediate attention after you move in.
- Do a final walk-through of the house.
- Plan your big move.
If all goes well, you’ll sign the paperwork and the keys are yours!