Buying a Home in 7 Steps!

Posted by Sarah Pickens on Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 at 9:20am.

 

Buying a home is complex, but we're here to make sure you understand the process and what you're getting yourself into! So we compiled this list of 7 home buying steps to give you a better reference of what to expect! We would say 7 "easy" steps but without the right help it might not necessarily be the case. Read on for all the details!

1. Finding the Right Agent 

When you work with the right agent you should be getting all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your family:

  • Economic indicators (interest rates, market trends, and real estate cycles)
  • Market trends (inventory rates and fluctuation, local and national market conditions, and seasonal advantages)
  • Networking & strategy knowledge (negotiation strategies of co-op agents and insider deals)
  • Financial opportunities (mortgage options, loan programs and qualifications, short sales, and foreclosures)

We think we might know a good team when you're ready ;)

2. Dream Home Funding

Here is a break down of expected costs when funding the home of your dreams:

  • Earnest money: the “security deposit” for your home that goes towards your down payment at closing
  • Inspection: the time period during which you can conduct a home inspection to identify major repairs 
  • Appraisal: when a third party conducts an inspection of the property to determine the value based on area comparables 

Remember your home is an investment. We want you to build your equity and wealth with your home purchase while ensuring that you avoid any mistakes that cause you to overpay for your home or loan. 

3. Selecting Your Home

While you may not tick off every single box, there are some key things to consider when narrowing down your home search:

  • Property type (condo, townhouse, single family, manufactured, multi-unit, investment)
  • Preferred city and subdivisions price range year built (age of home)
  • Bedroom/bathroom/garage needs
  • Square footage
  • Landscape and lot preference
  • Floor plan
  • Amenities ADA disability features
  • Appliances and future home maintenance costs (utilities, association dues, lawn maintenance, etc.)
  • Surrounding area details: School rankings
  • Crime level
  • Planned community parks & playgrounds
  • Privacy of neighborhood/gated community
  • Location of home within neighborhood proximity to: work, restaurants, recreation, public transportation, major roads, entertainment, etc.

And always remember to minimize risk! When purchasing homes that are “riskier” in terms of condition (think foreclosures/bank-owned homes, short sales, vacant homes, or extensive city inspection repair requirements), be sure to get the right help for the decision process - it always pays off! 

4. Be Ready to Negotiate Your Terms

The offer is probably the most complex part. The terms and concessions that go into it can be easy enough, but most of the time after inspection there may be a lot of items you'll want to discuss/negotiate. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Purchase price
  • Earnest money
  • Closing date
  • Financing terms (including discount/buy-down points and 60 days no payments)
  • Inspection period (followed by negotiated repairs during this period if your offer is selected)
  • Personal property to be included in sale
  • Other applicable addenda (like Common Interest, Community Disclosures, Short Sale Contingencies, etc.)
  • Seller contributions to YOUR closing costs (if requested)
  • Home warranty

5. Ensure Your Home is Protected

A home inspection is a contingency that is often built into your offer (usually a 9-10 day period). During this time, you can hire a professional home inspector to do a full inspection of the home, top to bottom, to eliminate potential surprises and determine if there are any major non-functioning items or repairs that need to be completed. These can all be negotiated with the seller for repair completion or credit for repairs. The inspection will include…

  • Appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating and air conditioning (seasonal testing)
  • Roof and attic (if accessible)
  • Foundation
  • General Structure
  • Radon test (additional fee, but recommended since more than 40% of homes tested have levels that exceed the EPA threshold)
  • Thermal Imaging
  • Sewer line or well tests

6. Closing

While we'd love to give you heaps of advice here, each closing is incredibly different. So we will give some general advice you should take note of. First, you'll want homeowner's insurance ASAP. It is a requirement if you are financing your home through a loan. Also, you'll want to use a trustworthy title and closing company. Their job is to ensure a smooth and efficient transaction between both buyer and seller. The ultimate goal is to close on time with a clear process in mind. When considering closing details, here is what to plan for:

  • Providing documents to your lender in a timely manner
  • Appraisal process
  • Lender-required repairs
  • Closing & settlement review
  • Potential deal killers (inspection, appraisal, etc.)
  • Transfer of utilities
  • Buyer’s agent commission (paid at closing by the seller)
  • Logistics of moving into your new home

7. Find Your Resources!

For our clients we compile a list of local resources and amenities to ensure a smoother adjustment into their new neighborhood. While we offer more specific services upon closing, some things you should look into right away are:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Cleaning companies
  • Flooring installation
  • Exterior maintenance
  • Painting
  • Remodeling
  • Siding/windows/decks

No, we do not expect the walls to start falling around you! But having trusted companies lined up when you're in need is a huge stress reliever on the off-chance something does happen.

When you're ready to buy or sell, we're here! This was just a general list of things to keep in mind when purchasing your new home, but we of course always recommend you work with a trusted agent to make sure you are properly represented throughout your home buying/selling journey!

Contact us today to start your home buying/selling journey!

 

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