Purchasing a home requires a ton of time and effort. While you may not want to take too much time away from your outdoor fun, knowing a few simple steps to follow can simplify the home buying process and help you get the home you want, for a price you can actually afford.
Here are the key steps to take to stay sane and ensure a smooth home buying experience, whether it’s your first or fifth:
1. Begin Your Research Early
It’s a good idea to start researching as soon as you can. Browsing the web is a great place to start, but you may also find useful information by flipping through magazines or newspapers. Whatever calls to you, set aside some time to understand the process and make note of what applies to you.
When looking at homes that you are particularly interested in, be sure to see how long they are staying on the market. Also, take note of any changes in the asking price. This can help you understand the housing trends in certain areas and set the right expectations early on.
2. Determine How Much You Can Afford for Your Home
Most lenders recommend that you search for a home that is no more than three to five times their annual household income. This is a good strategy if you want to put down 20 percent and have a moderate amount of other debt.
However, you need to make this decision based on your own financial situation.
3. Seek Prequalification or Preapproval for a Mortgage
Before you even begin to look for a home, you need to find out how much you can afford. The best way to do this is by getting prequalified for a mortgage.
This process is usually pretty straightforward and something most lenders can assist you with…
4. Find a Quality Real Estate Agent
When buying or selling a home, real estate agents can be an invaluable resource. Take some time to find someone who knows the area where you want to buy!
An experienced agent will help you understand all the ins and outs of the home-buying process, as well as have knowledge of certain neighborhoods, home builders and features or amenities you may not otherwise discover.
5. Find the Home You Want and Make an Offer
Begin to look for homes in your price range and then start making offers. Make sure that the home meets you and your family’s needs and that everything is working properly before making an offer.
Check all the details before moving forward to ensure you purchase a quality home.
6. Get Your Loan
Being prequalified just lets you know how much home you can afford. You have to actually select your loan provider when you find a home you want to purchase.
Look at the features and benefits of several to find the one that best suits your needs.
Don’t rush in when it comes to buying a home. Use the tips here to get the home of your dreams that meets you and your family’s needs for a price you can afford. Now… happy hunting!