Home Buying 101: What can you expect when purchasing a home?
Buying a home is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially for first time homebuyers. The process may seem overwhelming, lengthy and confusing. There’s so much to do! But, with the right network of professionals – a loan officer and realtor, for starters – you can make it through.
Here are some of the steps you will take when you go to buy your home.
You will need to start by checking your credit and resolving any issues that may prevent you from buying a home. There are many companies out there that will check your credit for you. Or, you can check your credit yourself. By law, you are entitled to receive a free credit report from a credit bureau such as Experian once every twelve months.
Next, you will need to find a loan officer through a bank, mortgage lending institution, or a local realtor. You will want to get a lender who can explain your financing options and the requirements of each so you can make an informed buying decision.
Once you have a lender, you will want to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for financing and receive the lender’s pre-qualification letter. When you do, you will have a better sense of which homes are in your price range and the responsibility you will have when making the purchase. Getting pre-qualified will also save you a lot of time once you start looking at homes and will help make your offer competitive .
The next step is to meet with a local realtor. You will want a realtor who is familiar with the area in which you are looking and educated in the latest real estate trends. A good realtor will be able to show you the kinds of homes in your budget, explain how to structure an offer and negotiate on your behalf to get the home of your choice.
When you begin looking at homes, you should have a checklist. How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? How much property would you like to maintain? Do you need a basement? What size garage is important? These are all factors to consider as you begin the home buying process.
Have you decided on a home? If so, with the help of your realtor, it’s time to make the offer. The offer will include an earnest money deposit, which is a good faith deposit. You will have to place money up front with the offer to show you are serious about buying a home. Your realtor will address the need for inspections and will prepare the offer in a way that best meets your needs and remains competitive.
Prior to closing the transaction, you will have a final walk-through inspection to verify the condition of the property. When it is time to go to settlement or closing with a title company or an attorney, you will be asked sign off on the loan commitment and accept the transfer of title along with several other documents to make your purchase official. Once you accept the keys, the house is yours!
As you can see, this process is not simple, nor is it necessarily short – but don’t let that scare you out of buying a home! Finding the right team of experts will help make for a smooth and hassle-free experience. For a more detailed explanation of how to buy a home, call Belinda Jacobson-Loehle at 703-338-9678 or emailBelinda@JacobsonRealty1.com.
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