- Be an informed buyer by gathering as much as information as possible.
- Familiarize yourself with the mortgage process. Learn about different types of mortgages available and think about which type is going to be best for you financially. Get information about fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages and talk about current interest rates.
- Begin the application process and get pre-qualified and pre-approved from a lending company. This will help strengthen the power of your offer when you decide to make one on a home.
- Know how you stand on your credit ranking. Get any unpaid bills taken care of before applying for a loan. Your credit report will tell you what you need to know about your credit standing. It is a good idea to have your credit report in hand when applying for a mortgage. You can get a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Figure out your budget and how much you are able to spend a month on a mortgage and this will help you figure out what price range you are looking for in a house.
- Find an agent you trust and who will work to represent you when buying a home. Research their background, experience and knowledge of the area.
- Decide what the main amenities you are looking for in a home to determine what types of houses you should be considering.
- Decide whether a single family home, condo, or town house will be right for you. Keep in mind that a single family home, while offering more privacy requires more upkeep and maintenance.
- Gain as much knowledge about real estate from your agent as possible and make sure you fully understand terms and processes before submitting an offer.
- When you have found a house you are interested in, you will need to make an offer. Have your real estate agent pull comparable properties in the area that have sold recently to help determine what your offer should be. Make an offer to purchase and familiarize yourself with how offers become contracts.
- Many times the homeowner will counter your offer – this is where the negotiating begins. You will need to determine the highest price you are willing to offer on the home in advance. Negotiate your best deal with the information you have obtained.
- If you have not already done so, this is the time to request a mortgage loan and figure out what your monthly payments will be.
- Once the buyer and seller of the home have agreed on a price, you will want to have a home inspection completed to ensure there are not any serious internal problems that could cost you a fortune down the road. This will help to protect you because most home inspectors guarantee their inspection reports.
- Compare and secure a homeowners insurance policy. You want to get the lowest monthly policy that has the best coverage. This is a long term expense so getting the best deal will save you money for years to come.
- Arrange to have a closing agent or attorney available for your closing. Many times your real estate agent will make recommendations and coordinate this for you.
- Make moving plans. Gather necessary items such as boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc. If you choose to use a moving company, you need to be sure to compare prices and book them for the day you are planning on moving.
- Secure the final loan approval before you go to the closing.
- Do a final walk through on the house and make sure that all of the addendums of the contract have been met.
- Time for the final closing and settlement!
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