Owning a home is an experience that gives us a sense of purpose and fills us with pride. Right now, you are ready to begin the search for your dream home, but the process isn’t as simple as knowing what’s on your wish list. Finding the perfect house takes some dedication and attention to details. Check out these 6 steps to buying a home before you start your search.
1. You’ll need a substantial savings to cover the cost of buying a home. Though a home mortgage loan will help you when it comes to financing your purchase, you’ll most likely need a down payment of around 20 percent. On top of the down payment, you’ll be responsible for the closing costs, unless your contract says otherwise. Closing costs cover inspections, attorney fees, clerk fees, appraisals, and other services needed during the home buying process. It’s a good idea to have a portion of funds set aside to cover any expenses that crop up after you’ve been handed the keys to your home.
2. Be prepared for the home mortgage lender to look at your credit report with a critical eye. This inspection of your credit means that you need to make sure everything is accurate. If you have negative items on your credit report, you’ll want to clean those up before moving forward. Avoid making any large purchase for items like cars, furniture, or other costly items that may alter your credit score and impact your income to debt ratio. Remember that your work history is listed on your credit report. A stable work history shows that you can be counted on to follow through with your commitments and have the ability to repay your loan.
3. One of the most helpful things you can do is to apply for a home mortgage loan to get a pre-approval. Don’t make the mistake of setting your heart on a house that you can’t afford. Getting a pre-approval will help you narrow down the search to just the houses that are within your correct price range. It can also help you when it comes to a multiple offer situation. If you fail to get a pre-approval but someone else putting in a competitive offer has one, there is a chance their offer will be chosen over yours. Before you get too involved in the home search, see a mortgage lender and get that pre-approval letter.
4. You’ll want someone with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the home buying process. Seek a professional real estate agent that will work wonders for you when it comes to negotiations. Research real estate agents in the area, ask family or friends for their recommendations, and interview potential agents. It’s a good idea to stay away from working with family or friends when you’re buying a house. When you do interview a real estate agent, discuss things like their communication style, their process for selecting homes for you to view, and how much their fee will be for representing you during the transaction. Be sure to have an exit clause in the contract in case something doesn’t work out and you wish to terminate the professional relationship and find another agent.
5. Your wish list is important, but you want to be realistic about your expectations. In the end, you may not be able to afford all the perks, but giving up those fancy upgrades is better than digging yourself into a financial hole you’ll struggle to fill. You may need to compromise on some items, but you should also know which things are non-negotiable when it comes to your future home. Your real estate agent can offer valuable advice in this area because of their knowledge and experience.
6. Look beyond the pretty picture when you’re viewing a house. Houses are staged to bring out the best features, but you’ll want to look beyond those to get a clear picture. Look for problems lurking beneath the perfectly cleaned and staged environment. Check under cabinets for signs of leaks. Pay attention to the neighborhood. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect house next to less than favorable neighbors.
Call The Jumper Team today at 910-644-0303 to discuss selling your house or to tour available homes for sale in the Fayetteville area.