10 Smart Steps to Buying a Home
When getting ready to purchase your first home, there are smart steps you should take to get the most out of your money and reduce room for mistakes.
Smart Step 1 – Examine whether it is the right time or not for you to buy a home.
Determine your budget and personal criteria for what you are looking for in a home to see if you can afford to make the move.
Once you have your home buying budget, you need to look at your bank account to see if you have enough money saved to put down at LEAST 10% of the house’s total cost into the initial payment for it.
Also keep in mind that you need to have an emergency fund. The amount in this fund must be capable of covering a minimum of 6 months’ worth of bills in case you lose your job, or anything else happens to you, that may hurt your income temporarily.
You will also need enough money to pay people for their services along the way to getting the home of your dreams. A list of people you need to hire will be at the end of this blog.
If you jump into this without having a big savings, you will be paying way too much for the home every month until it is paid off. This could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in interest, depending on your credit score and how large the debt will be.
If you cannot keep up with the monthly payments, you will not only destroy your credit, but your bank may threaten you to foreclose your home!
Smart Step 2 – Do your research.
Know what you want, know what locations you will accept, and know what to expect. Not everyone can afford living on a beach front in a two-million-dollar home, so if you only have pocket change in your bank account, do not be surprised when your realtor shows you your options according to your budget.
This goes together with Smart Step 1, because if you cannot afford the house you want, then you will need to adjust your current lifestyle and income to the best of your abilities to comfortably afford the home you desire.
Smart Step 3 – Select an Agent.
You’re looking for a home and if you’ve landed yourself here, you need help. Please leave some things to the professionals. A realtor will help you find the best house for the best price. This will prevent you from spending too much on a home. Just because a house looks “good enough” and you can afford it, does not mean you should buy it! A professional will find you better, for a lesser cost. You and the realtor will win together so do not decide to do this on your own.
Smart Step 4 – Choose where you want to get your loan from.
Finding the right lender is very important. You need to see what your options are and do not settle for the first offer you can get. However, don’t run your credit in too many places, or else you will find yourself new hard inquiries on your credit report which will lower your score and your chance of getting the mortgage you want. Lenders have reviews, so look them up before you visit.
Smart Step 5 – Select a loan right for you.
Understand that the higher you go, the tighter your wallet will be every month for your mortgage payments. This is why you should be ready to pay a large down payment on a home before you decide to go shopping for one.
Smart Step 6 – Visit the homes that you and your realtor have found.
See it in person and don’t down a home only because of the curb appeal. Poor curb appeal will save you money. Paying for your own cosmetic changes will not only save you a lot of money on the overall price of the home, but it will become more personal because of it too.
Smart Step 7 – Make an Offer.
Make an offer on the house you’ve chosen with your agent by your side and negotiate! Keeping a professional with you is the backbone to the entire process.
Smart Step 8 – Get the home inspected!!!
This may be the most crucial step. You need all the facts inspected. Hire a professional to inspect the house’s build, the electrical components, the pipe systems, the size of the land, and everything in between. If problems arise you either learn that you should not close a deal on the house and you save yourself from disaster, or you may be able to negotiate an even better price for the home plus know how to fix it.
Smart Step 9 – Get the home appraised.
This means, with your realtor, determine whether this house is worth the price. Just because a lot of work has gone into finding and inspecting the chosen house does not mean you are obligated to buy it!
Smart Step 10 – Close the deal.
With your realtor, attorney, title agent, and loan officer, carefully close the deal. When closing the deal, you cannot do it without the help of every one of these people unless you want to regret everything later. If you think you should cut corners with the process, you should reconsider Smart Step 1.