Are you thinking of buying a home right now? It's that time of year when many people think about doing just that; but often times they are not sure of the process or what to expect.
Buying your dream home can take a lot of time and effort. It can also become overwhelming if you’ve never bought a home before or haven't done so in a long time.
Knowing the steps to buying a home will help you manage your stress level while providing you with the information necessary to make the best, most educated decisions possible.
With these 9 easy steps (and the right Realtor), your home buying experience can lead to the home you’ve always wanted.
Step 1: Find Money
Before you start looking for a home, you need to find out how much you can afford. It's best to know in the very beginning what you can afford instead of asking a Realtor to show you homes, or doing countless searches online, only to find out you have more OR less buying power than you thought.
So, first things first. Contact a mortgage lender who can help you determine the max price you can afford to spend on a home. If you don't have a mortgage lender, you can talk to our preferred mortgage lender partner, Pat Culpepper for Caliber Home Loans.
Step 2: Obtaining a Copy of Your Pre-Approval Letter
You need a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender so your real estate agent and the seller of the home you find knows you're able to buy the home now. This letter gives you credibility when you put an offer in on a home. Put yourself in the sellers shoes. Who’s offer would you take more seriously? The one with a pre-approval letter or the offer without one. Pre-Approval means your credit, income, assets and personal information have been verified. This process can take some time, but is worth the wait.
"Pre-Approval," is not to be confused with being "Pre-Qualified." Getting pre-qualified is an informal process and your information isn't verified. While it can offer a general idea of what your buying power could be, that's about it. Sellers often won't take pre-qualified buyers as seriously either. Just keep this in mind.
Step 3: Time to Find a Home
This is the FUN PART! If you haven't already done so, contact K & K Homes Group or call us at 301-774-5900. We will help you find the perfect home. We do this by first learning from you what your “must-haves” are, your “nice-to-haves” and your “wish list”. Then we immerse ourselves into finding those homes that meet your criteria. What YOU want is our top priority and it’s what keeps us focused on finding the right home for you within the price range you can afford. Once you find the home you want, we guide and represent you through the entire buying process; which includes working with you to negotiate a deal with the seller to get the home for the best possible price given all of the variables (home condition, location, comparables in the area, market conditions etc…).
Step 4: Home Inspection
Most of the time your offer is contingent upon a home inspection. This is done quickly after you and the seller come to an agreement. You can pick your own home inspector or ask for a recommendation from your realtor at, K & K Homes Group. The inspection helps identify structural damage and things that need fixing. The contingency helps you by giving you the protection to renegotiate your offer on the things that need to be fixed or the opportunity to withdraw your offer all together if significate damage is revealed during the home inspection.
Step 5: Supplying Documents to the Mortgage Lender and Title Company
After all the renegotiations are settled, it's time to choose the right mortgage loan with your Mortgage Lender representative. Lenders have a wide range of loan options to choose from. You and your Mortgage Lender representative will discuss your options and guide you to choosing the best loan for you. Be prepared to provide and complete a lot of paperwork to supply to your lender and know that it can take some time, but it can all be worth it in the end when you get the keys to your new home.
You'll also be working with a title company for title paperwork. If you don't have a preferred title company, you can go through our preferred title company partner, Jonathan Levy, at Capital Title.
Step 6: Get Homeowners Insurance
Just like owning a car and having to have car insurance. When you own a home you need to have homeowners insurance. There's a variety of extra's you can add to your real estate coverage. Ask about your options. Also, talk to your agent about combining auto and homeowners insurance for a multi-plan discount. You can shop around for price estimates until you find what works for you. You can also go through our preferred insurance partner, Dan DiCocco at All State Insurance.
Step 7: Final Walkthrough
After all the paperwork is processed, it will be time to schedule your settlement day and final walkthrough. The final walkthrough allows you the protection to confirm the house is how it should be and that any repairs that may have been required from the home inspection were completed.
Step 8: Closing
It's settlement time and this is where you sign all the paperwork. You'll sign all your loan documents involved in the purchase of buying your dream house at an office. Often, you'll sign these documents accompanied with your real estate agent, mortgage lender representative and title company representative. In some instances, the sellers are there too.
Step 9: Get the Keys
This is the time for celebration! You’ll be handed the keys, and be able to finally move into your dream home!
While the process might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. If you have any questions or need help with buying your dream home, don't hesitate to contact us at 301-774-5900.