The steps to purchase real estate can be an exciting process, but there can be a lot that is required for the transaction. I have created a list below for you to follow so that you can be best prepared.
Step 1: Start The Research
Start your research of areas that you are most interested in. Make notes of the homes and price points that are currently in the market. This will give you an idea of what neighborhoods that might be best for you to consider.
Step 2: Establish Your Comfortable Budget
Identify your budget, debt and the amount of money that you have available for a downpayment. A mortgage lender will still have to qualify you for a loan, but you should make this determination based on your own level of comfort including your lifestyle.
Step 3: Get Prequalified
Before you embark on your home search, you will need to solidify how much you can spend. The best way to go about this is to get prequalified for a mortgage if you are not paying cash. To get prequalified, you will need to connect with a reputable mortgage broker and provide some of your personal information. The lender will then alert you of how much you will be approved for which will dictate what types of homes you can begin looking for. It is important to provide the lender with accurate data for the prequalification as you will have to eventually follow up with applicable documentation, credit reports, etc. to verify your financial status.
Step 4: Search for Homes and Make an Offer
Once you begin looking at homes in your price range, take notes as you may see many houses. When you go to homes in different areas, consider things like convenience to local services, your commute to work and other things that address your lifestyle.
Once you find a home of interest, submit your offer with your prequalification letter.
Step 5: Home Inspection
A home inspection is a pivotal event as it reviews structural damage or items that may need repair. Offers are often made contingent of a satisfactory home inspection to protect the buyer. Any negotiated items that shall be addressed by the seller can be confirmed during the walk-through.
Step 6: Home Appraisal
Your lender will arrange for the home to have an appraisal conducted during the process. The appraisal will confirm to all parties that the price you are paying is a fair market price for the property.
Step 7: Complete the Necessary Paperwork
Your lender will make arrangements for a title company to review documents and ensure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house. Also, you will need to complete your loan package by providing your lender with supporting documents that prove your employment and financial status. These will be things like pay stubs, bank statements and the like.
Step 8: The Closing
After your final walk-through of the property, you will then move on to the closing. Here, you will sign all legal documents to complete the purchase. Once complete and the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new home!