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Buying a house is stressful. The task becomes even more daunting if you are buying a home for the first time. First, you will be exhausted by the effort that goes into finding your dream house. Then you’re likely to be overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork that has to be completed before you ever step into your new house. Building your own home is different from buying a house and might demand more effort to complete the process.
The picture is not as bleak if you know how to buy a home and which steps to take next in the home buying process. We have compiled a step by step guide on how to buy a house to make the process smoother for you.
First things first, get the latest update on your credit score. A credit score is your lifeline when making any major purchase, and maintaining a good credit score is as important as maintaining a good reputation.
A credit score provides a snapshot of your financial health. Having good credit scores makes it easier to get a loan. You can check it online for free from any of the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Make sure there no mistakes in the calculation of your credit score.
If you do find an error, contact them immediately and get it resolved before starting the process of buying a house.
Knowing how much money you can devote towards your purchase will likely narrow down your search and reduce the work involved in buying a house.
Generally, experts suggest buyers purchase a home that costs no more than 3 to 5 times their annual gross income. Of course, this isn’t a law; you should figure out how much you can afford to pay for a new house based on your personal financial conditions.
Coming into the home buying process prepared is the best approach. An important step in the home buying process is getting pre-approval. Sellers always appreciate when they meet buyers who have completed their homework.
Pre-approval is a process in which the mortgagor calculates how much of a home loan you can borrow from the bank. To get pre-approval, you will be required to provide information about your financial assets, liabilities, and income.
The bank will then review the information and determine how much money you can borrow. Knowing this information in advance will help you focus on houses that fit your budget. Also, sellers often consider pre-approved buyers as more serious bidders for the house than those who haven’t completed this step.
Now you are ready to actively search for a house. This is the most energy-consuming step of the home buying process. At this stage, you already know your budget and how much money you can borrow from the bank.
Use the internet to conduct your search for homes that fit your budget. You can also use real estate apps on your smart device. The best feature of dedicated websites is that you can narrow down your search by applying filters based on house size and budget.
When you are entering the real estate market, you really shouldn’t neglect to get a real estate agent. A real estate agent is someone who does all the work on your behalf and makes things easier for you. From a financial point of view, there is no harm in hiring an agent as the seller is responsible for paying the agent’s commission.
The primary advantage of hiring an agent is you gain valuable market insight, including the latest trends, new developments, potential sellers, and info about the health of the market. You can also consult with or rely on your agent when you’re ready to negotiate or make an offer.
If you’re unable to find a home through online searches, an agent will find you one for sure.
When you have selected the house that best fits your budget and has everything that you want, it is time to make an offer. Consult with your agent on price negotiations before placing an offer.
Once the seller accepts your offer and is ready to strike a deal, it is time to get the house inspected. You may also complete this step before making an offer.
Don’t skip this step just to save a few dollars. You wouldn’t want to find any structural or operational flaws with the house once the deal is finalized. Instead of doing it by yourself, hire professionals. They’ll know what to look for when inspecting the property for defects. Any issues found during the inspection can be used to negotiate a lower sales price.
Since you’re already pre-approved for a home loan, this process shouldn’t take as much time. Hopefully the house you are buying falls within the pre-approved loan amount.
Reach out to the bank to find out what other information or documentation is needed in order to secure the loan.
You are one step away from buying a house; everything is moving along without incident. Hire an attorney to be present when you close on the house. Your attorney will prepare the necessary transfer documents and represent you during the transaction, and they will help facilitate the receipt of any earnest money.
You’ve made it through the process and now you’re almost done with everything. You’ll be signing a lot of documents that will make the property officially yours. Congratulations on successfully completing your home buying process!
Buying a house may be exhausting but, if you follow the steps outlined above, you should be more prepared to buy a house.
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