Buying a first home can be one of the most exciting moments in your life. However, investing in such a large purchase can seem daunting. With a little research, however, it’s possible to make the home buying process as stress-less and worry-free as possible. Thinking about buying your first home? Check out the list below. It contains 10 helpful steps that can guide you through a financially feasible and minimally stressful buying process.
The first step to buying a home is ensuring that your finances are in order. Before you buy a house, it’s important to be out of debt and have some savings set aside for emergencies. Living in your own home can be more expensive than renting. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for all maintenance and repair costs, so make sure you’re in a good financial position before you start looking for a new home. You’ll also want to make sure you have a good credit score in order to obtain a mortgage.
- Analyze Your Assets.
Analyze your assets to ensure that you can afford a home. The total cost of your housing, which includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance, should never be more than 28% of your income if you want to qualify for a mortgage.
- Get pre-approved by a lender.
Most people who purchase a first home need a mortgage. Even before you start looking, obtain pre-approval from a lender to help finance your purchase. Once you’re working with a lender, you can decide on an affordable price range and can approach sellers with proof that financing is already in order. Lenders can help you understand how much money you’ll need for a down payment, the amount of your closing costs and the amount of the monthly mortgage payment you can afford. Here in South Carolina a good place to start on your application: Charleston Mortgage Place – http://charlestonmortgageplace.com
- Start your home search.
Once you’re pre-approved for a loan, find a trusted realtor to help you with your housing search. You’ll want to work with him or her to set a budget and make a pros and cons list that describes the things you want and don’t want in your new home. Carefully evaluate homes to find a place that feels right and fits your needs.
- Do your research.
Once you find properties that you like in your price range, do some research about their history, owners and builders. Make sure that you’re purchasing a property that is well-constructed and has not had any serious issues, such as meth manufacturing, mold or pests.
- Make an Offer.
Once you’ve found the perfect place, make an offer on the home. Do some research about the prices of similar homes in the area to ensure that your offer is competitive and realistic. Also, find out why the homeowner is selling the property. If the owners need to get the home off their hands quickly, this may shape the offer you make on the home.
- Complete the sale.
In order to make the sale binding and legal, make sure the seller signs the offer. Once it’s signed, the offer works as a sales contract and is a legal declaration that the home is yours.
- Get a Mortgage.
You’ll need to apply for a mortgage to finance your new home. Fill out all of the paperwork your lender gives you, then wait for approval. A lender will complete an appraisal of the home and verify bank deposits and insurance needs.
- Have the Home Inspected
Hire a professional home inspector to thoroughly examine the property and report on its condition. Home inspectors can spot health hazards or potential problems. You’ll want to make sure that there aren’t problems like mold, pests, termites, air quality issues and more.
- Close the Deal
Once the condition of the home is verified as safe and healthy, and your mortgage has been approved, it’s time to close the deal on your home. Make sure you have a photo ID and enough money for the down payment, and verify the payment method with the sellers or their closing attorney. Once you’ve closed on the property, it’s time to move in, so consider arranging for a moving service to transport your belongings to your new home.