If you are looking to buy your first home, this guide is for you. We’ll be taking a look at this ten point checklist that you need to go over. Purchasing a home can be a challenge even for first timers.
If you need additional assistance, Teifke Real Estate can help. You can follow this link for more information on how you can find a real estate agent that will work with first timers just like you. Let’s take a look now at the following items you can look for in this checklist.
1. Is it in your preferred location?
As the old saying goes, ‘location, location, location’. You may have a home that you want to buy in a specific location (even a specific neighborhood). Why this location in particular?
Is it close to a school for your kids? Is it a quick drive from the downtown area? Is it close to mass transit?
Location may be so important for a first-time home buyer and for good reason. If the home you want is in the best location you want, then that’s a good sign. But don’t forget that you should have other options as well (such as other options in other desirable locations).
What price range are you comfortable with? How much is too much in a home? The price range will whittle down your options.
However, you can be able to find a home that is the perfect fit for you if it’s at the right price (i.e – your preferred price range). Couple this with being in your perfect location and you’re on the right track.
Let’s say you are a family of four. You may consider getting a three bedroom apartment. One bedroom for you and your spouse and the other two for each child.
Or maybe you can have the kids share one bedroom (assuming there is enough space). You can use the additional bedroom as a guest room or even a home office if you work remotely. Either way, you can use an extra bedroom to your advantage.
If the home is large enough for your family, that is certainly a plus. Even better, if the front or back yards are large enough for your kids during playtime or family get-togethers, that’s even better.
4. Do you have a real estate agent that can help you?
Finding the right real estate agent is key. You’ll want to find one that will be more focused on buyers. That’s because they specifically understand this process and will work with every client who has a goal to find the home of their dreams.
Do your research and due diligence on real estate agents in the local area. You can find the agent that will help you buy a home based on your personal needs and preferences.
5. Have you decided your method of payment?
You can pay with just cash (if you got enough). Or you can be approved for a loan if you fit the right conditions (such as having a good credit score). Most of the time, you might apply for a loan that you will need to pay off within 30 years.
That is why you need to check your finances to see how much you can afford. It may be a good idea to double check what your credit score is. If your credit score is 630, it may be enough for some lenders (but not all of them).
The higher your credit score, the better. To improve your credit score, make sure you pay off any debts while you can.
After you find the right lender, now it’s time to see if you are pre-approved for a mortgage. You will receive pre-approval if you fit the right terms and conditions for them. Once pre-approved, you can continue forward with the home search.
Please note that you will be pre-approved for an amount a lender is willing to give you. And it might be a good fit for your price range.
7. Check the homes out
If you have one or multiple houses you’re looking at, you can schedule times to check the place out. It can be an open house or even a private showing. This will help you take a look at the property up close and personal.
Once you check the place out, you can decide whether it’s a good idea to continue pursuing the home or eliminating it from your list. Take notes each time you are touring the property. This includes ideas of what you want to do with certain rooms in the house.
8. Begin the negotiation process
The negotiation process will begin and you’ll be able to make an offer. It might not be the asking price that the seller wants. It can be a price that you can afford based on the mortgage you have been pre-approved for.
In a buyer’s market, this will be easy for a buyer themselves to get the house after a bit of negotiating with the seller. The buyer will make an offer and the seller will have the option to either decline or counteroffer.
You can back out of the offer at any time if you begin to have some bad feelings about the home.
9. Get final approval for the mortgage
The final approval on your mortgage does not happen until the seller accepts your offer. Once this happens, you can continue the application process and get approved. However, you’ll want to provide additional paperwork to the loan officer that is in charge of your mortgage.
These documents include your pay stubs, W2s from the previous two years, or even similar paperwork if you are self-employed.
10. Close the deal
At this point, you can start the closing process. The real estate agent and loan officer will do the heavy lifting. However, you still have plenty of paperwork to sign.
This process is pretty self-explanatory. After the papers are signed and everything is taken care of, the deal is done. Next up: Moving day.