Your Real Estate Buying Guide
Follow Our Real Estate Home Buyers Guide to Buy with Confidence
Having a real estate home buyers guide may help make the process of purchasing your home a bit easier. Whether this is your first home or you’ve owned before, the first step is to have an experienced, local real estate agent to guide you through the process. As a buyer, you don’t pay out-of-pocket for the use of an agent, but you do benefit from their experience, insights, and resources to help ensure you buy a home that’s right for all of your needs. You’ll learn more about the local markets, neighborhood amenities, and things to watch out for when you have an agent by your side.
First Time Home Buyers Guide? Start Here
If you’re just starting the process of buying your first home, you’ll need a bit of support during this sometimes complex process. Remember that this is one of the largest investments you’ll likely make in your lifetime, and it’s a legally binding one, too. For that reason, work with your agent and your lender to determine how much of a home you can afford. Doing this first provides insight into what all of your options may be. You also want to be comfortable in making a home buying decision that is affordable within your monthly budget. Your agent can offer some suggestions, too, on neighborhoods and home types that help you get the most for your money. Be sure to ask all of the questions you have of both your lender and the agent.
Real Estate Buying Guide Steps You’ll Take
A component of this home buyer’s guide is to give you an overview of what the transaction and process of buying a home will be like. You’ll want to work closely with your agent to determine what your needs and wants are for your home. You also want to pinpoint the neighborhoods you are most interested in and get a good idea of what you can expect in terms of costs, home size, and features in those.
Step 1: View Homes in Your Ideal Area
Work with your real estate agent to see as many homes as you would like in the area you hope to purchase a home in. Get an idea of what the options are. Compare prices but also ensure that you know what to expect in commute times, expenses, and even the neighbors. Find a home you love and are ready to buy.
Step 2: Place an Offer on the Home
Your next step is to place an offer on the home you’re interested in. An offer is a legally binding contract. It should have some stipulations in it that help to protect you. Once the offer is placed, your agent may help you negotiate the price and terms so they are the best they can possibly be for your needs.
Step 3: Close on the Home
The closing process is more complex. You should have a home inspection, an appraisal of the property, and approval from your lender to move forward. Once all are in agreement, you’ll meet with the lender to sign documents that allow you to set up your mortgage. This then allows the money to be transferred to the seller. You’ll be a homeowner.
House Buying Guide: Know What to Look for in a Home
One of the most important parts of buying a home is knowing what to look for in it. That’s going to determine how much you should spend, but also if this home is going to be a good long-term investment for you. The first step is to know what you need to live your life comfortably. During a home inspection, you’ll learn a great deal about the property, including the age and condition of the main systems, such as the heating and cooling, appliances, and roof. It’s a good idea to look for a home that isn’t too overwhelming in terms of repairs or upgrades – especially if this is your first time buying a home. Work with your home inspector to understand the home’s needs before you get locked into a home that may be too much to handle or not right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions for Your Home Buyer’s Guide
Should I get a home loan before I start looking for homes or find the home I want to buy first and then get a loan?
It’s always best to start with securing a loan. First, it helps you determine how much of a home you’re able to purchase based on your income and qualifications. That helps you know where to start looking for homes for sale. Second, home sellers want to know that the person looking at their home to buy is qualified to purchase it. Having mortgage loan approval when placing an offer on a home may help you get the home because the seller knows you are serious about the purchase. If you do not have a mortgage lender just yet, your real estate agent can help you find one. You can then compare several loan types to find the best terms for your needs. This helps to make buying a home later a bit easier.
How do I know I am ready to buy a home? Should I wait longer to buy a home?
It’s wise to make the decision to buy a home once you feel confident in your ability to both afford and care for a home. If you’re unsure, speak to a real estate agent today. Ask them to give you some insight into what the local real estate market is like in your area or the area you hope to buy a home in. That can give you some insight into what to expect. It is also a good idea to have a down payment. Some loans require a down payment, often 3 to 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. If you spend some time building up that down payment, you may feel more comfortable purchasing a home now. For many people, though, buying sooner may be helpful as mortgage rates continue to remain low, making buying more affordable.
Do I need a real estate agent to help me with buying a home? Can't I just use the seller's agent?
It’s never wise to use the seller’s agent, and it may be illegal in some areas. That’s because you need an agent that’s representing you and working on your best interests. Having a real estate agent as a buyer offers nothing but support, and you don’t pay for this service out of your pocket. Rather, the seller does. An agent will help you find homes to consider, negotiate the best possible price on the home, and help you through the home closing process.
Agents are dedicated to making sure you get the results you want – the home that fits your needs and the most affordable price possible on it. You also want to use their insights and experience to help you make a good buying decision on the neighborhood and home you buy. For many homebuyers – especially first-time home buyers – it is essential to use an agent to guide you through the process.