Are you ready to buy your dream home? While the process may seem intimidating, here is the blueprint to buy the home of your dreams in 10 simple steps from a Dublin Realtor.
Step 1. Do Your Homework
Ask yourself the following questions:
Where do you want to live? Check the housing market in the area that interests you. Are houses for sale? How are the job prospects? Schools? Amenities?
What is your credit score? This is a perfect time to start cleaning up your credit. Make sure to pay debts consistently or pay them in full if possible.
Step 2. What Type of Home Do You Want?
There are several great options to choose from:
Single family residence (ranch style, multi-level, etc.)
Ask yourself the following questions:
How much space will you need?
Do you have a family?
Small children? Pets?
Will you need a yard?
Do you want to do your own yardwork, or would you prefer that be handled by a Homeowner’s Association?
The answers to these questions will help you determine what’s best option for you
Step 3. How Much Can You Afford?
On average, typical home buyers choose homes that are within three to five times their annual salaries. In addition, it’s not uncommon for lenders to require a 20% down payment on a home. This lets the lender know you’re serious about purchasing the home, and it reduces the lender’s risks.
Not sure how much you can afford? Use this Home Affordability Calculator to see where you stand.
Step 4. Get Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved
The next step is to get prequalified and preapproved for your mortgage. Your mortgage banker will need your financial information to determine how much they can lend you and what price ranges you should be looking for. (Before talking to the lender, it’s critical you make sure your credit history is clear as discussed in step one).
The following information is typically needed for the preapproval process:
Bank account statements
These are typically the documents needed to verify your financial status and your ability to repay the loan.
Step 5. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
While many people opt to search on their own, a competent real estate agent is worth their weight in gold. In addition to having access to information you may not be privy to, real estate agents may be able to provide insight on homes or neighborhoods you may have not known about or even considered.
When looking for a real estate agent, here are a few key questions to ask:
Does the agent work alone, or do they have a team?
Is the agent knowledgeable about the area you’re interested in?
How long has the agent been in the business?
Does the agent prefer to work on the buy side or sell side of real estate?
Is the agent readily accessible? How are their communication skills?
Step 6. Make an Offer
Once you find a home, the next step is to make an offer:
- Your real estate agent will submit your signed purchase agreement to the sellers.
- The seller will review the offer and either accept, reject, or make a counteroffer.
Your real estate agent will keep you updated on the status of your offer.
Bonus Tip: Your offer is one of the most important steps in the entire process: the wrong offer could turn off the seller and ruin your chances of getting your dream home. Here are a few things to consider when making an offer for your dream home:
Make sure your approval letter is included in the offer.
Move quickly. If homes are selling quickly, it’s critical you get your offer in before others do.
Don’t make your offer too low.
You may only get ne chance if there are many offers to buy on the table.
Higher down payment? If you make a low offering price, consider making a higher down payment. This might sway the seller to seriously think about accepting your offer.
Write a note. Include a handwritten note with your offer. This might appeal to the seller in a more personal way. They may appreciate the fact this is your first home or you have small children.
Look at the contingencies. Can some of the contingencies be omitted? Offers with fewer contingencies tend to be seen as more favorable.
Be ready to negotiate. Few sales are accepted on the first offering price. Be prepared to field a counteroffer. Remove all emotions from the buying equation. Have a limit to how high you can go on your offering price. Don’t get caught up in the moment and make a deal you might regret.
Step 7. Get a Home Inspection
This is when you have the home checked for signs of things that need repairing or structural damage. Your real estate agent will help schedule the inspection, which is usually performed a few days after the offer is accepted. It is during the home inspection process that contingencies can be omitted.
Your real estate agent can help determine what contingencies are critical for the purchase of the home. However, if the home inspection suggests repairs are needed, these findings can be negotiated into the selling price of the home. Or you can decide the house isn’t worth the repairs and simply back out of the deal.
Step 8. Get an Appraisal.
An appraiser will use their expert opinion to determine the value of the home by using a “comparable.” This simply compares the home you’re interested in with other home sales in the area that have similar features. To keep things honest, appraisers are usually a third party with no direct association to the lender.
Step 9. Set Up Financing (Mortgage Application)
You will now work with a mortgage banker to help with the actual mortgage. Mortgage bankers assist with the following:
Monthly mortgage payment amounts
The length of the loan
Other important mortgage related information
Step 10. Close the Sale
The final steps are to review the paperwork and close the sale! The lender will work with the title company to make sure the paperwork is in good order. Most importantly, the title company will ensure the seller is the rightful owner of the home and able to sell the house to you.
You will then receive a Closing Disclosure. This document is to be reviewed by you to make sure all the numbers are correct and accurate prior to the official closing day.
On closing day, the final paperwork is to be signed. All documents will be notarized along with a copy of your driver’s license or state issued identification.
The lender then reviews the documents, who then releases to the closing agent for recording. The monies are now transferred to the seller and the transaction is officially recorded with the county.
The final step is receiving the keys. Congratulations! You are now a homeowner!
Owning a home is considered by many to be the American Dream. Are you ready to buy your dream home? Are you looking to sell your property in East Bay? Here at Range Homes we have a team of agents who are here to put your needs first. Our mission is to get you the best deals & offers, and help you buy (or sell) your dream home. For assistance with your real estate transactions during these challenging times, Range Homes is here to help. Reach out to our team today by clicking HERE.