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Buying a Home

Although the process of purchasing a home may seem like a daunting task, the entire process is fairly straightforward once you know all the steps. Whether you are purchasing a home for the very first time, or are a seasoned homebuyer, following these 10 steps will make your next home purchase a smooth and stress-free process.

  1. .) Research – The very first thing homebuyers should do is start researching. You need to think about what type of home you are looking for, including amenities, neighborhood, style, school district, etc. This is the perfect time to make a list of Wants vs. Needs. This will allow you to truly prioritize what you are looking for in a home. In addition, you need to research different types of loans, lenders, and insurance policies. Performing this research in advance will save a lot of time and heartache down the road.

  2. .) How much can you afford – Before looking at houses, you need to examine your finances. This is a great time to review your credit report and score, research any discrepancies, and get your finances in order. In addition, there are several Mortgage Calculator tools available and you can use this information to get a ballpark idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home. This is also an excellent time to make sure that you are physically and financially ready to commit to buying a home.

  3. .) Pre-Approval/Pre-Qualified – This step perfectly follows-up the financial research stage. Going through the pre-approval/pre-qualification process will let you know approximately how much a bank feels you can afford to spend on a home. Keep in mind that this figure is the absolute maximum you should spend on a house, and it might be advantageous to purchase a home under the amount you are preapproved for.

  4. .) Securing a Real Estate Agent – Once you have made a list of what you are looking for in a house, and how much you can afford to spend, it is time to secure a real estate agent. If you have already done some homework ahead of time, choosing one should be easy. Real estate agents can work with your list of Wants vs. Needs and budget to help you find your next home and walk you through the process.

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  6. .) Finding a Home + Making an Offer – This is often the longest part of the home buying process. It may take you some time to find a home you want to make an offer on, and then the seller may not necessarily accept your offer. Take your time and look at as many properties as you need to find a home that meets your needs and is at an acceptable price. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit of time to find the right home for you, but also keep in mind that no home will be 100% perfect.

  7. .) Home Inspections – Once your offer has been accepted, it is time to schedule home inspections. This can directly impact your decision to move forward with the process of buying a home. Some common inspections include a standard home inspection, Radon inspection, and a well and septic inspection.

  8. .) Securing a Loan – Before fully securing a loan, your lender will also require the home to be appraised. This information will tell your lending institution what the market value of the home is. Once this process is complete, you can secure your loan through your lending institution.

  9. .) Set Up utilities + Secure insurance – Right before closing, home buyers should set up their utilities and purchase homeowner’s insurance. This will make sure that the utilities are up-and running and that the home is covered from day-one.

  10. .) Closing + Final Walkthrough – At the time of the official closing, all paperwork will be signed and closing costs will be paid. Shortly after the closing, a final walkthrough should be completed so that you can verify that the home will look exactly as you expect on move-in day.

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  12. .) Move in – Once the first 9 steps are complete, it is time to move into your new home! At this point, all your hard work has paid off and you can enjoy your first night in your new home.

The process of buying a home is fairly simple, especially if you do the research ahead of time. By following these 10 steps to buying a home, you can sail through the homebuying process with ease.