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7 Steps To Buy a Home

By Michael Balicki

The steps to buying a home might seem complicated at first. By doing your homework before you buy, you will be more confident during your home search. Review this  guide, and you’re well on your way!

Do Your Research

Do your research early, make notes of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they are on the market. Also, note any changes in asking prices. This will give you a sense of the housing trends in specific areas. Check out the apps page for mobile tools to help you on your home search.

Are you ready to buy a home? 

Whether you’re becoming a homeowner for the first time or you’re a repeat buyer, buying a house is a financial and emotional decision that requires the experience and support from a team of reliable professionals. The best way to start the process is to be confident you’re purchasing the best home at a price you’re comfortable with paired with the most desired financing. Your first step is to decide how much home you can afford.

In general experts recommend that your house payment (mortgage, maintenance, taxes) should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Here’s an example:

  • Monthly (before tax) income is $4,000

  • Multiply $4,000 by 0.28 and you’ll see you should not pay more than $1,120 a month on your home

Get a mortgage pre-approval

Most buyers need to finance their home purchase, online calculators and estimations just provide you with a ballpark figure. A consultation with a mortgage lender is a critical step in the process. Find out how much you can afford before you move forward.

You can actually start the pre-approval process right now using the Follow My Loan App.

Learn how simple it is to get your pre-approval letter here.

For those who aren’t qualified the first time, don’t fret. You have the option to take advantage of a credit builder plan to put you in the best position to buy a home in the future, contact me for more information regarding your current real estate situation.

Look at homes / Make an offer

Use your favorite home search resource to educate yourself on the local market. If you don’t have a clear picture of what home you want, consider creating your real estate strategy.

Pro Tip: The real estate commission is paid by the seller, buyers do not pay real estate commission

After you have cultivated your wants and needs for your perfect home it is time to check them personally and make an offer. While much attention is paid to the asking price of a home, a proposal to buy includes both the price and terms. We will work on a tailor-made home buying strategy to find a competitive offer price within your price point.

Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time the 10-day home inspection begins. Upon an accepted offer we will immediately schedule a:

1.General Home Inspection

Pro Tip: Bring any and all concerns about the property to the inspector before he begins, so he’ll keep a sharp lookout for possible problems.

2.Termite Inspection

3.Roof Inspection

4.Other Inspectors as needed

Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.

Home appraisal

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third-party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.

In the event of the appraisal estimate coming in under your accepted offer amount (under-appraised) you have the option to walk-away from the loan or the seller has the option to lower the home’s sale price to keep the deal alive. There are many other routes that can be taken from here.

Coordinate Paperwork

As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. We will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

Close the sale

At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender, if you’re like me and want to keep track of the progress every step of the way – Follow My Loan will update you as your loan goes through the process.

Once the deed is recorded, you are ready to move into your new home!