Buying a home is never an easy task. There are so many things that need to be done like paperwork, walkthroughs, inspections, meetings, agents. The list can seem never ending. Don’t let the stress of buying a new house overwhelm you and keep you from finally buying your dream home.
Buying a home doesn’t have to be that hard. Spending the time to make a checklist of all the most important tasks needing done is the best way to help organize your thoughts. Everytime that you check one more thing off of your list you get a feeling of accomplishment that helps to reduce stress. That’s why we here at R.E. Appraisal Associates of SWFL, Inc. decided to help make that checklist for you!
Your Home Buying Checklist!
1. Financial Situation
- First before you can start anything else in the home buying process you must look at what you can afford. The home that you end up purchasing will completely depend on your current financial situation.
- It can be really helpful if you and your family discuss what is important to them when it comes to their new home. Make a list of things that you absolutely need, a list of things that you really want, and a list of things that you absolutely don’t want. This will help you to determine what type of home is important for your family.
- Start saving money for the down payment which will be around 20% of the home.
- Remember to leave breathing room in your budget. When you start to budget out what you can afford to pay on your new home you must also consider other things such as unexpected bills or having additional cash each month for entertainment and activities.
2. Real Estate Agent
- Finding a good real estate agent is going to be key when it comes to buying a home.
- Agents are there to help you find the home that is just perfect for you and within your price range.
- A good agent can mean the difference between you overpaying on a home and you getting the best deal. They will help you through every step of the home buying process and they are wonderful at negotiating on your behalf.
3. Mortgage Lender
- Your mortgage lender is going to be with you for the entire time that you own your home so making sure to pick the best one for you is going to be important. Remember to shop around. That means you might not end up using a lender that you are familiar with. Be open to the idea of asking multiple lenders for pre-approval and find the one that is best for you.
- You might want to start looking into seasoning your account as well. This is as simple as depositing any money you’ve saved for your down payment into your account and letting it sit in the account for 2 or 3 months before applying for your mortgage loan.
- Once you’ve found your lender and made sure to season your account then you will need to submit your pre-approval letter.
4. Shopping For Your Home
- Next comes the most exciting part. Shopping for your home! When shopping for your home you will want to take a lot of things into consideration.
- Location is going to be the first and most important part of deciding your new home. What area do you want your home to be in? What are the crime rates? If you have kids what are the schools in the area rated? Once you have figured out the neighborhood you can then begin looking at what homes you can afford there.
- Making a list of things that are a must for your home (if you have not already) will be the next step. This will help your agent know what things are a priority to you and your family. Think about things that frustrate you about your current home. Also consider your family size, if you want to grow your family and what the other family members might need.
5. Make an Offer
- Once you’ve found your dream home you need to get an offer in before other possible interested buyers.
- You will want to talk with your real estate agent about making an offer. Figure out how you want to proceed with your offer. Your agent can help you with looking at comparable homes and understanding what the current market value of the home is so that you can make a more accurate offer.
- Then you will need to look at what terms you might want to include in your offer.
- Once all of these things have been squared away you can make a well adjusted purchase offer for the home. Making sure to look over these things before blindly making an offer can help increase your chances of having your offer be accepted.
6. Inspection Time
- If your purchase offer for the home is accepted you will need to look at having an inspection done. A home inspection is incredibly important and hiring a professional inspection team is going to be just as important.
- A home inspection is necessary for your protection. The inspector will go through the house and make sure that everything is in order and working how it should. If there are any electrical issues, plumbing issues, structural concerns or anything of that nature the inspector will tell you.
- If you find any issues with the home it will then cause both parties (you and the home seller) to go back to the negotiation table. You can either pull your offer and decide not to buy the house or you can make a new offer at a lower price or even require in the terms of your new offer that any issues be fixed before going through with the sale.
7. Close on the House
- Finally! Closing on the house is one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process. It can take some time and paperwork will be involved but once you find your dream home, make an offer and everything is accepted you will be able to own your new home.
- During the closing your mortgage lender will require a certified appraisal be done in order to verify without a shadow of a doubt that the current market value of the home.
- Once all is said and done you will be given the keys and the home will be all yours!