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A Step by Step Guide to Buying a House in 2021

So, you’ve decided to buy a house. But how do you do it? If you’re new to the market, buying a house can be incredibly intimidating. It makes sense; it’s a big investment, and you want to get it right. To take some of the guesswork out of this process, here is our step by step guide to purchasing a home.

This is a collaborative post.

Secure funds for the down payment

The first step in the home buying process is getting the money for a down payment on a house. Prevailing knowledge says to save this money and pay in cash, but for many this feels impossible. Often, this step can be one of the biggest hurdles for first-time buyers. If this applies to you, never fear! In many states you can get assistance with this part of the process, such as through a calhfa loan in California. These types of loans are designed to help reduce the barrier to entry for lower income families, so be sure to take advantage of these loans if you need to.

Get approved for a mortgage

Once you’ve secured funds for the down payment, it’s time to apply for a loan. To do this, you have to first find a lender that works with your needs. Those with a poor credit score or a non-traditional employment status may need to look into different lenders than those with stellar credit and a high income. When you find the lender whose rates and requirements work for you, apply and allow the lender to do their due diligence. Hopefully, you’ll hear the magic phrase, “You’re cleared to close!” and be on your way to claiming your loan and a step closer to buying a house (after you sign the rest of the paperwork, of course.) If you’re looking into refinancing your mortgage, SoFi can help you save money without the stress and hassle.

For sale sign on red and white outside a big American style home

Find a real estate agent that is right for you

Just like you did when looking for a lender, it’s important to find a real estate agent that you click with. This isn’t a choice to be taken lightly. In competitive markets, your agent will be the one who makes connections, negotiates and closes the deal for you. Hiring a professional who gets you and your needs makes the process go much more smoothly.

House hunt and make an offer

This is the fun part! Once you have the money and the agent squared away, you can start to look at homes to find the one that is the best fit for you and your family. Consider your funds and your needs. Are you interested more in a pre-designed home or a custom home? Do you want to prioritise eco-friendly materials and designs like solar powered homes? Answering questions like this will help you to narrow down your search, leading you straight to your dream home and buying a house. Once you find it, work with your agent to make an offer!

Get an inspection

In the hectic activity and excitement of finding a house that you love, this may be a step that you’re tempted to skip out on. While it may seem superfluous, an inspection can help you to identify problems you might not have otherwise found. Especially for an older home, this can save you a lot of money. If the inspection turns up problems, don’t be afraid to ask for credits or renegotiate the offer. With a decision this big, you want to make sure you get what you pay for.


Once you’re satisfied with the inspection and the offer is accepted, it’s time to close! Once you sign the paperwork and pay closing costs, the house is yours. Buy yourself a bottle of bubbly to celebrate and start settling into your brand new home.

A house with a 'buy' sign next to it for a step by step guide to buying a house

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? Why not hang around and read some more. If you want to read some more of my usual kind of stuff, head over to my Mum Life section. You’ll find all things parenting with a tongue-in-cheek twist. Or if you want some days out and UK family holiday inspiration, click on the Travel section.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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