Buying a home for the first time can be quite an overwhelming task but the top real estate agents can make it a much smoother process. However, since this is your first big investment, it will help if you can break the whole process into simple steps that you can follow. Read further for more information on how you can make your first time home buying process a smooth one.
1. Do your research early: As soon as you start thinking of investing in a property, start your research on home buying. For example you could check on the types of homes you actually like and their asking price. See if the asking price changes with a little time and you can get an idea about the house trends in a certain location. At this early stage you may or may not want to get help from a real estate agent but you can ask for help any time you think you are ready.
2. Check credit score: You will need a loan to buy your first home and lenders like to take a very good look at your credit score before they can approve you for a home loan. So, start by checking your credit score and the higher you score the better your chances at a mortgage loan. You are entitled to a free copy from the Annualcreditreport.com. Check thoroughly and if you find any errors in your report you are eligible to dispute them.
3. Find out how much home you can buy: You can decide this by determining how much money you have and how much loan you will be approved for. There are several online sources that you can take help from. With the help of these online resources you should be able to calculate how much monthly mortgage payment you can afford. This should give you an idea about the kind of home you can purchase. However, factor in all expenses like down payments as well as closing costs, other expenses like inspections, attorneys as well as appraisals and if there are also remodeling costs, before you can start contacting the best realtors. You could also seek help from a home-loan professional to help you understand your options.
4. Get Pre-approved: It is important that you get prequalified for a loan so that you have a fair idea about the amount of money you can actually spend on buying a house. You will be required to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker to review. Once the assessment is done, you will receive information on the range of houses you can financially afford to look at.
5. Find the right agent: Shop around for the best realtor make sure they are experienced and trustworthy with a thorough vetting. You could also check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Make sure you talk to more lenders and ask all sorts of questions related to your mortgage. Another important factor to consider when looking for an agent is to see if you feel comfortable dealing with them. If they do not answer your questions convincingly, move to the next one.
6. Find the right home: When you start looking for a home you should have a list of the things you are actually looking for in a home of your choice. For example the number of bedrooms you want, how big you want the kitchen to be, whether or not you need too many closets, a yard for the children to play in, swimming pool and the like. Commute is also an important factor in choosing a house. If you have children, you would want to check on the good school districts and the convenience of local shopping centers. Of course safety should be one of your biggest concerns as well.
7. Make an offer: Having studied the market, make an offer and if it gets accepted, congratulations, you can be a proud homeowner now. However, make sure you get a home inspection done before you move into your new home and having completed every formality you can now move in to your new home.