The Step by Step Guide to Buying Your First Home
When approached with the right information and the expertise of a Realtor buying your first home can be an exciting and smooth process. Buying your first house should be a fun experience, and because it will probably be the largest purchase of your life, you want to feel that you are making the right decision. In the steps below I’ll walk you through buying a home, from getting pre-approval to getting the keys on possession day so that you can feel more confident when it comes time to buy your first home.
Step 1-Determine your financial readiness and getting a pre-approval
Review your financial situation and get a clear picture of where you are at. How much do you have saved up that you are willing to spend towards a down payment? What monthly payments are you currently responsible for? A simple way to determine your financial readiness is to talk to your bank or mortgage broker and get a mortgage pre-approval. The mortgage pre-approval is going to give you a good estimate for what you can afford and so when you start looking you will have a guideline of how much you can spend on a house.
Step 2- Research mortgage options and government programs
Depending on your plans for your future it can be beneficial to do some research on the types of mortgages available. Over how many years do you want to be paying your mortgage, the advantages of paying off your mortgage sooner than later and the interest that you can save yourself. Are there penalties for paying your mortgage off sooner using lump sum payments, who is offering the best interest rates? These are just a few of the questions that you might want to explore before locking in your mortgage. You may also qualify for government grants or tax credits that could help save you money. These programs are often changing so it’s important to look into what benefits you might not even know are available to you.
Step 3- Finding your home
Now we’re into the fun part, searching for and viewing potential homes. The easiest way to search for a home is to get your own Realtor, someone you trust and know will look out for your best interests. It’s easy to search online and sort through houses yourself, but when it comes to setting up the viewings and finding out the behind the scenes info having a good Realtor on your side is helpful (especially when there’s no added cost). Knowing what you want and also what you don't want in a house can help you and your Realtor narrow the search and find the best home for you.
Step 4- Making an offer
Once you've found the house of your dreams it’s time to make an offer. This is another area that having a Realtor can be helpful. Having a Realtor who can help with the negotiations and act as a third party between you and the seller can save unneeded stress and help you act from a logical place. You’ll want to know recent comparable sales and what the market value of the house is so that you can make an offer that reflects the market. Your Realtor will be able to walk you through the offer and recommend conditions that you might want to have included in the contract such as a home inspection. At the point of having an accepted offer you will be required to put down a deposit for the purchase. This deposit will go towards the downpayment of your house once you have removed your conditions and decided to follow through with the purchase.
Step 5- Closing and related costs
Once you have removed conditions and the sale is final you will arrange for your lawyer to handle the closing of the transaction. Before you take possession of your new home you will be required to meet with your lawyer and process the final documents, transferring the title into your name, paying the remainder of the downpayment, making sure insurance is in place. It’s important to keep in mind the associated costs of closing and to talk with your Lawyer before hand so that you will be prepared and have the funds available when they're needed.
Step 6- Taking Possession of your new home
After the paperwork has been signed at the lawyers and the keys have been released to you, you are now a home owner. You’ll want to transfer utilities, and any other services that may apply to you so that your move can be as smooth as possible. Time to unpack and enjoy your new home!
If you're thinking of buying a home in the near future or have questions around the real estate market feel free to reach out and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org