There is only so much of your life that you can spend in your parent’s house or with a roommate in a condo. At some point in your life, you are most likely to think about buying your own house. And if you have reached that stage where you are finally ready to begin that plan, let us help you!
Purchasing a house will probably be one of the most important decisions in your life. And if you are a first-timer, you need to be extra careful about the whole process.
To make it easy for you, we have divided the whole process into ten steps. Read them below!
1) Make Sure You Are Ready
Buying a house means putting down some roots and laying a foundation for the rest of your life. Are you sure you are ready for that, financially and emotionally?
Your own house is definitely a milestone you would like to reach in your life, but first, you need to realize that you are going to be making a commitment that you cannot simply back off from. You will be invested in that emotionally, financially, and physically, for a long, long time.
Secondly, if you are buying a house with a partner, are you both on the same page with finance and preferences? Answer these questions first, then check out step 2.
2) Check Your Credit Score
Let’s be real. A higher credit score is the most powerful and easiest way to get a lower mortgage interest rate on your house. Once you know your credit score, check out the mortgage options you have.
If your credit score is low, it might be better that you build it up before you plan to become a homeowner. Otherwise, your new home can become unnecessarily costly for you.
3) Check Your Affordability
As explained above, buying a house is one of the most critical decisions of your life. To make sure you pull it off the right way, check your affordability beforehand. Your finances must be solid before you jump into the real process.
You can use a home affordability calculator that can help you figure out your budget after considering your income, location, debts, down payment, etc. That will help you figure out how much monthly mortgage payments you can afford as a homeowner.
This will also help you keep your other goals at bay and focus solely on getting rid of the house payments.
As a first-time buyer, as your budget is likely to be a major constraining factor, you may want to check out the local auctions. But please be aware of the risks,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam from an auctioneer over in the UK called Property Solvers.
4) Make a Wish List
Although you should make a list of demands and deal-breakers for the house you will be living in, do not take it too far. You should align your wishes with the affordability you have. If your budget is relatively low, then you shouldn’t add things to your wish list that are obviously way out of the budget. Be sensible.
5) Contact a Real Estate Agent
Having a real estate agent by your side makes this process so much easier. Since you are a first-timer, having real estate by your side is a must. Choose a suitable person from the real estate agent directory and contact them for further details.
Look into their references, experience, track record, and availability, and if you think they are the right person to help you buy your first house, shake hands with them.
6) Visit Houses with Your Realtor
House visits are the part where the fun begins but don’t take it too lightly. In this step, you are taking online views of the house to the next level and visiting them in real life.
When you are walking through the houses, make sure that you take notes and pointers on things that you like and dislike. That is because you might be walking through the house only once before you make an offer. If necessary, take photos.
7) Make an Offer
Found a home that looks decent? Well, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be the backbone of this step. They will provide you with authentic sales info and intel about how motivated sellers exactly are to sell.
Once you make an offer, there can two options. One, the seller rejects your offer. In that case, you can either make a counteroffer or simply walk away. Two, the seller counters your offer, in which case you can talk it out with your agent and reach a conclusion. If the seller accepts, then congratulations!
8) Get a Mortgage
Now that you know what property you are buying, you can choose a lender to get a mortgage (if you don’t have a preapproved mortgage). You will have to work closely with the loan officer to complete the mortgage application.
9) Negotiate the Ups and Downs
Before handing the down payment, make sure you get the house inspected by a professional (ask help from your realtor). If you notice any repairs in house or any credits in the seller’s documentation, adjust it out with the seller.
10) Get Insurance
Now that you have a house, get it insured. Good luck with your new house!