Important Guidelines To Know About The Home Buying Process
A home is more than the brick and mortar it’s made up of. It’s the place where your family is safe, happy, secure, and loved. It’s where you relax and enjoy each other at the end of each day. It’s home, and each home should fit the personality and needs of each individual buyer. While no two homes buying experiences are exactly the same, the home buying process has some key steps that every potential homeowner should be aware of.
Choose a real estate agent you can trust. Ask for referrals from friends and family, and interview several real estate agents before you make a final choice. The one you choose should understand the types of homes you’re interested in looking at, your budget, and the right kind of neighborhood for your family.
Choose an experienced lender who understands and supports your bottom line. The realtor you’ve selected will have a list of trusted lenders, but you can also find lenders through your local bank or credit union. Be careful to find one with fair and competitive interest rates and favorable loan terms. Have an honest discussion with your lender about how much house you can realistically afford. The right lender will be able to help you get prequalified and/or pre-approved for an affordable mortgage, which can make the home buying process much smoother.
Start saving for a down payment as early as possible. In some cases, a down payment might be a gift – as long as it’s free from any encumbrance – from a friend or family member. Coming to the table with a down payment is usually mandatory. Lenders typically require a down payment amount of at least twenty percent of the purchase price of the home. The larger your down payment, the more favorable you loan package can and the lower your monthly payments can be.
The agent you’ve chosen can show you homes in your price range, with the features and amenities that meet your particular needs. Keep a paper or digital notepad available to take notes about each home you see that has real potential. Also, take pictures to help jog your memory later, and be sure to pay attention to each home’s details. Turn on faucets and lights, open and close doors, flush commodes, and test furnaces and central air units. Pay attention to how heavily trafficked the street is, how well the neighbors maintain their homes and lawns, and the proximity of schools, malls, and public transportation.
Once you’ve selected the right home for you, be sure to get an appraisal and inspection. An inspection and appraisal of the home will give you and the seller an honest, objective report on the condition of the structure, infrastructure, exterior, and roof of the house. It’s a vital component of the buying process and can eliminate nasty surprises later.
Finally, once the inspection is done and your offer is accepted, you’ll go to the closing, sign tons of paperwork, and leave with the keys to your new home. Your dream of homeownership can become reality with these simple guidelines to help you.
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Photo: © Kate_sept2004 - iStockphoto After listing your house for sale, one or more potential buyers might make a purchase offer soon. Since most people already own a home, you are likely