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.
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.
Close and CELEBRATE
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.
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