You buy things every day of your life, you’re an expert at making purchases. But, are you prepared to make the largest purchase of your life? When you are shopping for your first home you may get overwhelmed with a process you do not do very often–luckily, there is help available to walk you through the entire process.
Step one when purchasing your first home is to make sure you are ready to take the leap to homeownership–and then committing fully to getting through the process as quick and painless as possible. Deciding if it is the best time for you to purchase a home depends on your financial state and other factors in your life. Here is what to expect when buying your first home.
Where do I Begin?
After you have decided now is the time for you to purchase your first home, you need to start getting your ducks in order. One of the most important assets to have when purchasing your first home is having the proper people on your team. It takes several people to complete the entire home buying purchase, and by recruiting the proper help, you will greatly increase your chances of a successful first home purchase.
The first person you should look for is an experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent will be able to point you in the right direction, regarding what documents are required to get in order and other people you need to recruit for your home buying team. If you’re buying, then you want a “Buyer’s Representative” type of real estate agent.
A real estate agent will be able to represent you when viewing houses, making offers, and closing on the property, all the way to getting the keys in your hand. A competent real estate agent could potentially save you a substantial amount of money in the negotiation process, along with being knowledgeable about the area and current market you are searching for a home in.
Find a Mortgage Broker or Lender
The second person you should contact is a mortgage broker or lender of your choice. One advantage of a mortgage broker is they will find you the best possible loan offer you can get.
A mortgage broker works with many lenders and works to connect lenders and borrowers who are best fit for each other. If you have an established relationship with a lender, you may want to get your mortgage through them, otherwise, it is likely a good decision to work with a mortgage broker.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Your team will also consist of a lawyer or company that handles the legal processes such as title search, title insurance, deed transfer, and perform a closing. Do not get scared though, between your real estate agent and lender, they will help contact the proper people for the legal processes, this will not be a factor you need to worry about.
It is a good idea to have a general understanding of the home buying process before looking for your first home. The first thing your real estate agent will do is discuss with you what matters to you, and what you want in your home. Things like location, budget, and home features will all be things you can discuss with your agent, the more informed your agent is, the better they can find the perfect home for you.
Finding the Right Home
After your real estate agent knows what you are looking for, they will compose a list of homes available for you to look at. Do not expect to find the perfect home instantly, you will likely have to look at several homes, and it could take weeks before you find the perfect one. That said, do not purchase a home unless you are sure it is the one, you need to be 100% committed to your new purchase.
After you have found the home, your agent will help you decide on what to offer the seller. It’s vitally important to understand you can and should negotiate in most situations. However, you should submit an offer you think is fair, or maybe better described as what you think the seller will think is fair. Otherwise, you risk offending the seller and creating animosity in the process, resulting in the seller ignoring you regardless of the offer.
Absent a full value offer, and in some hot markets, even a full value offer won’t be accepted. So, a wise buyer will know, or have a real estate agent advising, what the appropriate offer price should be.
Let Your Team go to Work
After you and the seller have come to an agreeable price it is time to start the actual purchasing process, this is where your team comes into play. Your real estate agent should send the proper information to your legal team and lender, these three parties will all work together to make sure your home buying process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Make Sure You’re Good to go
Before buying a home, you should make sure you have all your affairs in order, you need to make sure you are financially stable and ready to stay in your current location. You want to be sure you can afford the house you’re buying–the last thing you want is to file for bankruptcy later in life as a result of your home.
You will be expected to put a down payment on the house, every lender has different standards, but a good guideline is 20% of the purchase price, and you should be sure you can make this down payment without strapping yourself financially.
Once you have everything in order and are ready to start, it is important to build an awesome team that will ensure your home buying process is a success. Buying a home can be stressful, but by taking these steps–the process will go as smooth as possible.