Steps to Buying a Home

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Step 1: Check Your Credit Report & Score

Before getting a mortgage or any kind of loan, you should always check your credit. The higher your score, the better loan you'll qualify for. Don't forget to check your report for errors. If there are any, dispute them. It may help your credit score.

Step 2: Figure out How Much You Can Afford

You can calculate how much you can afford by starting online. There are several online mortgage calculators that will help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Don't forget to factor in money you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for a lawyer, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. There are loans available where a lower down payment can be used with mortgage insurance in place. An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs and other fees. Contact us to be directed to mortgage expert.

Step 3: Find the Right Lender and REALTOR®

To find the right mortgage lender it’s best to shop around. Get recommendations from your friends and family and of course check with your Realtor. Talk to more than one mortgage lender. Ask lots of questions and make sure they have answers that satisfy you. Make sure to find someone that you are comfortable with and who makes you feel at ease.

Once you have the right mortgage lender, make sure you at least get a pre-approval. Qualifications are only a guess based on what you tell the lender and are no guarantee, whereas a pre-approval will give you a better idea of how big a loan you qualify for.

Step 4: Look for the Right Home

Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?

Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.

Step 5: Make an Offer on the Home

Now that you've found the home you want, you have to make an offer. Most sellers price their homes a bit high, expecting that there will be some haggling involved. You can also get advice from your real estate agent to find out how much comparable properties have sold for. Once you've made your offer, don't think it's final. The seller may make a counter-offer. But you don't want to go back and forth too much. Somewhere, you have to meet in the middle. Once you've agreed on a price, you'll have to provide a deposit, which is money makes up part of your down payment. Once the conditions of your purchase are removed this deposit is typically non-refundable. 

Step 6: Close on Your Home

Make sure you consider a home inspection before you close. It will be well-worth the money spent since it ensures the property's structural soundness and good condition.

Be sure you talk to your mortgage banker to understand all the costs that will be involved with the closing so there are no surprises. Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your down payment, title transfer fees, appraisal fees, lawyer fees, and inspection fees.

Step 7: Move In!

You've got your mortgage, closed the deal and now it's time to move in! Whether you use a mover or not is up to you, depending on your financial situation and how much stuff you have to move; perhaps also, whether you have a lot of friends willing to help you move. Either way, you're done with the home buying process! Just start unpacking and start enjoying your home! Buying a home doesn't have to be a hassle if you're prepared and you know what to do and when to do it. Choose an experienced home loan lender and a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent-they are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience!