Buying Your First Home
Buying Your First Home
Everyone remembers buying their first home. It is a time-consuming process and requires careful planning to make it a success. If you’re already a homeowner, I’m sure you remember buying your first home. I’m sure it was an exciting and memorable experience!
FIND AN AGENT
Find a local REALTOR® who knows the real estate market where you’re looking for a new home. Shop around – NOT all Realtors are created equal!
GET PRE APPROVED
Talk to a lender (loan officer) to get a pre-approval letter so that you know how much house you can afford. Most agents will NOT show you a home without a pre-approval letter because one will be required to accompany a contract for purchase offer on a home. If you’re a cash buyer – then you will need “proof of funds” to go along with any offer made on real property.
Start working with the real estate agent you have chosen. Discuss the type of home that meets your needs and price range. The agent will then conduct a search of the local MLS (Multiple Listing Services), prepare a list of homes to view, and make the necessary arrangements with the sellers to view each home.
MAKE AN OFFER
It’s time to make an offer. Your REALTOR® will prepare comp’s to find out the current market value of the home and determine what the home should be appraised at. This analysis will determine if the home is priced correctly or if it’s overpriced. Remember, most homes that stay on the market for a long time are overpriced!
Ask your REALTOR® for recommendations of a good home inspector. Schedule your home inspection as soon as possible because there will be a clause in the purchase contract called the “inspection period. This is the number of days a buyer has to inspect the home and if something is found to be wrong with the home, the buyer is given the opportunity to back out of the contract and keep their initial deposit or earnest money.
At this time, the lander will order an appraisal to determine that the house is not overpriced. If you have chosen a competent Realtor to work with the house should appraise for more money than what you are purchasing it for creating instant equity in the home. If this is done correctly – you have just made a GREAT investment.
It is recommended that you call and shop around for the best price. At the very least, a buyer should get at least three to four different quotes for their new home. Remember that this insurance rate will be factored into your monthly mortgage payments.
SET UP UTILITIES
Ask your real estate agent who the local utility companies are and call them. You want to have all utilities turned on and active in your name on closing day.
The final walk-through should be done on or the day before closing. This assures the buyer that nothing has been damaged or removed from the home that shouldn’t have been and is considered a “fixture” of the home (i.e. a refrigerator).
You have made it to the final step with the help of a Realtor. All you need to do now is make sure you’ve sent the funds for the down payment (if one is required) to the title company that’s handling the closing. Then show up with your driver’s license and sign a bunch of legal papers. Congratulations! You’re now a homeowner.