Step 1: Decide to Buy The decision to purchase your first home is one of the biggest and best choices you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest - and most emotional - investment most people will face in their lifetime. So, how do you know if it's the right time for you to buy? There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding the right buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances. A home purchase is an important step that can provide many advantages. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that can deliver several financial benefits - equity build up, value appreciation, automatic savings plan - not to mention a new sense of pride!
Step 2: Hire Your Agent When you're looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help make your dream come true.
When you work with me, I:
Educate you about the current conditions of the market.
Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
Coordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and budget.
Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.
Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
Inform and discuss with you, and suggest solutions to solve any problems that may arise.
Step 3: Get Pre-Approved To make the financing process as painless as possible, understand your finances and your budget.
A pre-approval is when a potential mortgage lender looks at your finances to find out the maximum amount they will lend you and what interest rate they will charge you.
With a pre-approval, you can:
Know the maximum amount of a mortgage you could qualify for
Estimate your mortgage payments
Lock in an interest rate for 60 to 120 days, depending on the lender
The pre-approval amount is the maximum you may get. It does not guarantee that you'll get a mortgage loan for that amount. The approved mortgage amount will depend on the value of your home and the amount of your down payment. It may be a good idea to also look at properties in a lower price range so that you don’t stretch your budget to its limit.
Remember that you’ll also need money for:
Ongoing maintenance costs
Step 4: Find Your Home There are a lot of homes out there, and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. I will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible.
Some questions you might ask yourself include:
What amenities are crucial for you and your family?
How much space do you need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would you be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighborhood stability a priority?
Is accessibility to main routes a priority?
What features are not negotiable in your new property?
You'll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Step 5: Make an Offer Once you've found a home you love, the next step is deciding on a price. It's important to remember that a home is an investment. I can give you information on other properties in the neighborhood to help you ensure you make an informed decision when it comes to price. I will explain and guide you through the offer process.
Some things to consider when deciding on the best price point are:
List price - Start with the price point that the home is listed at. This will give you a base when looking at the home's value.
Market Analysis - I will give you an idea of comparable home values in the neighborhood to help you decide if the price point is on par.
Improvements - I can give you a list of improvements made to the home and help you determine its market value.
Step 6: Get a Home Inspection
I have a list of very experienced home inspectors, should you choose to exercise your right to a home inspection upon placing an offer on a property
Step 7: Perform Due Diligence I will provide you with improvements and challenges within your perspective home. This way you'll know what you are getting into before you complete the purchase. Knowing what work has and has not been done to your home is important information to have in the buying process. While updates can increase your home value, damages can take money out of your pocket. Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage, which can come from water, shifting ground or poor construction. Very often a problem appears to be big, but can be fixed with very little effort and not a huge budget.
Step 8: Close Once you've determined a price point you're comfortable with, you're in the "home" stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don't put the property purchase at risk, you have a couple responsibilities that you'll need to keep in mind:
Staying in control of your credit and finances - Do not make any large purchases during this time. It's important to keep your financials steady throughout the buying process.
Keeping in touch with your agent and financial consultant - It's important to stay in constant communication during this process. Be sure to return all phone calls and complete paperwork promptly. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. I’m here to help!
Step 9: Protect Your Investment Congratulations, and welcome home! The home-buying process is complete, which means it's time for your maintenance plan! It's now your responsibility, and in your best financial interest, to protect your investment for years to come. Performing routine maintenance on your home's systems is always more affordable than having to fix big problems later. Be sure to watch for signs of leaks, damage and wear. I can also provide you with information on the real estate market, finding contractors and repair services, and even tracking your home's current value.