The homebuying process can seem complicated, but by taking it step by step and consulting a professional real estate agent and a reputable lender you can soon be holding the keys to your own home.
Nine steps to buying a home
1. Figure out how much you can afford
2. Know your rights
3. Shop for a loan
4. Learn about home buying programs
5. Shop for a home
6. Make an offer
7. Get a home inspection
8. Shop for homeowners insurance
9. Sign papers
Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. There are calculators on many websites that can help, but it is best to visit a lender to find out for sure.
Step 2: Know your rights
A REALTOR® will abide by a code of ethics that will spell out your rights as a buyer, using a REALTOR® will assure you will have your rights protected.
Step 3: Shop for a loan
Save money by doing your homework. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, negotiate to get a better deal. Consider getting pre-approved for a loan.
Step 4: Learn about homebuying programs
FHA loan programs offer lower downpayments and are a good option for first-time homebuyers. There are also many other programs in the market that your lender can tell you about. Your lender should be able to tailor a program to your needs.
Step 5: Shop for a home
Choose a real estate agent that knows the area, has experience and is committed to working with you to find just the right home for you. On the other hand you need to commit yourself to your real estate agent, jumping around from agent to agent will not get you the best agent or service.
While shopping for a home be sure to have (and share with your agent) your “wish list” of things you want your home to have, that and a “home shopping checklist” will make the job easier for both you and the agent.
If you choose a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA), be sure to request a copy of the HOA packet, so you can review before closing.
Step 6: Make an offer
Discuss the process with your real estate agent. If the seller counters your offer, you may need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of the sale.
Step 7: Get a home inspection
Make your offer contingent on a home inspection. An inspection will tell you about the condition of the home, and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs.
Step 8: Shop for homeowners insurance
Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance. Be sure to shop around.
Step 9: Sign papers
You're finally ready to go to "settlement" or "closing." Be sure to read everything before you sign!
Along with choosing a real estate professional to assist you in the purchase of your new home you will need to find a Lender that will work with you and process your mortgage. Below you will find a list of lenders that service the area and that are qualified to assist you.