Buying a home is one of the most important decisions a person will make in their lives. Unfortunately, most people enter the house hunting process either with misleading information or too much emotion. House hunting is a stressful and time-consuming process – new home-owners tend to play it by ear and find unpleasant surprises every step of the way.
However, looking for a house doesn’t have to be that way. Having a plan in mind and a basic framework will make the process of home-ownership a pleasant one, as it should be. Whether it’s buying one’s first house or moving into a bigger family house, it is an important milestone for many.
Being prepared not only makes the process easier but also helps secure that dream house faster. At Zumbly, we give you real time scores to help you find a home that’s right for your price range and your personality. With our house hunting expertise, here’s a guide to looking for the perfect place for you.
Important Steps For Buying A House in 2019
This is a step-by-step guide that will help streamline the process of homeownership. Knowing the process of looking for a home reduces your potential anxiety and unfamiliarity.
As a buyer, it’s important to be confident and well-informed about one’s financial standing and the decision of finalizing the house. Let’s dive into the complete process of buying a house in 2019.
- When To Buy A House
- Expense Preparation
- Getting Approved
- Finding A Real Estate Agent
- House-Hunting List
- Submitting An Offer
- Home Inspection and Appraisal
- Closing The Deal
1. When To Buy A House
Before buying a house, it is important to know the right time to do it. This ranges from being mentally prepared to start the house-hunting process and evaluating one’s credit score. Buying a house without adequate financial resources is a recipe for disaster.
The next part is to consider your current life stage. Being aware of job security and long-term life goals is a crucial part of deciding to kick off the home-buying process.
After considering these scenarios and accepting that homeownership is in the cards, the more substantial process begins.
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2. Expense Preparation
The next step is to figure out the affordability of buying a house. You need to establish a rough budget to begin the house-hunting process. This involves calculating overall expenses such as mortgages, repairs and any additional costs that might come up (consider at least a 10% buffer on whatever estimate you’ve come up with to allow for incidentals).
This also includes researching the housing market. By studying the areas in which it’ll be most feasible to buy a house, you can start adjusting your expectations. No one wants to look at a house that they love only to realize its way out of their budget, then having to restart the house-hunting process all over again.
3. Getting Approved
Most people buy a home with a home mortgage plan. Being pre-approved for a home loan takes a lot of uncertainty out of the equation. Consider a scenario wherein a seller is given two offers, one with approval and one without – which one are they likely to take?
While getting pre-approved may seem like a lot of work, it’s definitely worth it in the end when it gives you an edge in competitive home-buying scenarios. A seller might even accept a lower offer if it comes with a guaranteed pre-approval.
4. Finding a Real Estate Agent
No matter how much research you do on your own, the value of a real estate agent can’t be understated. They’re experienced professionals with the right connections and the industry know-how that will help a new buyer look for and secure the right house.
Look for a buyer’s agent or a neutral facilitator, since they’re more likely to get buyers a better deal and be impartial towards listings and while giving advice. Factors like experience, specific skill sets, negotiations, and more should be considered before enlisting the help of a real estate agent.
5. House-Hunting List
House hunting is perhaps the biggest and most important stage of buying a house where most people falter. There’s so much more than what meets the eye and yet people tend to get carried away by emotions or aesthetic value while deciding which house to invest in.
Keep an eye out on the neighborhood that you like – compromising on that won’t work out in the long run. Based on the budget, buying an inexpensive house in an expensive neighborhood can be a great decision as the value tends to go up – just be aware of red flags or serious fixer-uppers. Looking at similar listings and figuring out an approximate value is a good starting point for the house-hunting process.
6. Submitting An Offer
This is where a good real estate agent comes in handy. They’ll work with you and help you draft a solid offer. Making an offer also includes figuring out what comes with the house and what doesn’t. Take the help of the realtor to figure out seller disclosures and any similar nitty-gritty before putting in an offer.
7. Home Inspection and Appraisal
No one wants to move into a home with structural issues or any major/minor problems without being aware of it. This is where a home inspection comes in. Home inspections occur before buyers sign the final contract and it is up to the buyer to decide the tests that are to be done.
An appraisal is done to determine the true value of the land or house, assuring the lender that there is no malpractice. It also protects the buyer from paying more than the real value.
8. Closing The Deal
This is it. All the steps have led to this moment. Months and months of planning, negotiations, and tests have finally come to fruition. The final contract, property tax, insurance, and fees are all that’s left of the process.
It is important to do a final walkthrough to ensure everything is the same as before and there are no changes. That’s it – a sign on the dotted line and the process of home-buying is finally over.
Let’s Lock It In
Even though all this may seem like a lot, once the house buying process begins, the best thing to ensure is that you are well-informed. Any curveballs or roadblocks won’t catch you by surprise as there is a framework ready.
Having the support of an expert and a step-by-step guide is crucial, but don’t hesitate to ask questions. No one expects homeowners to be gurus about the real estate industry. Even after lots of research, there are many inside workings that are elusive. If there is something that is confusing, simply ask.
This ensures transparency and a smooth process while buying a house.
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