Buying a home is a process which takes time and work. At times, it can be a little overwhelming, so, we wanted to break it down for you, in case this is your first time tackling this joyous milestone. As always, make sure your investment is well taken care of by hiring a qualified realtor.
STEP 1 : Select a Realtor
Choosing your realtor is ultimately up to you. That being said, we know a brokerage armed with excellent agents and offices throughout greater Houston, Galveston, surrounding counties and the Hill Country. Just sayin’… http://www.heritagetexas.com/our-agents/
STEP 2 : Credit History
Check up on your credit history as it is one the primary factors considered by a mortgage lender. You can get a free copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Do it online at annualcreditreport.com
STEP 3 : Get Finances In Order & Pre-Qualify For A Loan
Your next step is deciding how much you can afford which will depend on your income, expenses, size of down payment, and current interest rates. Our mortgage calculator is a great place to start! Connect with a mortgage lender to determine your buying and borrowing power, and to get pre-approved for a loan.
STEP 4 : What to Look For
Prioritize your needs versus your wants. Whether it’s the number of bedrooms or baths, a certain school district, or a pool, make sure you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot live without. This will help you narrow down your search.
STEP 5 : Where to Look
Location, location, location! Factors like price, school district, property taxes, deed restrictions, and area amenities all play a role in your decision. With a good agent, a wealth of market knowledge should be available to you which help you hone in on where to look.
STEP 6 : Your Home Search
Armed with your dream home criteria, it is time to begin the search. You will almost certainly be searching online, but after the initial search, you’ll need the assistance of a Realtor to find homes that meet your standards and to schedule showings that work for you to make the search experience easier. Their knowledge of neighborhoods and market pricing will save you valued time and greatly expedite the home search process.
STEP 7 : Make an Offer
When you’ve found the home of your dreams, it’s time to make an offer! Your agent will be there to guide you through making an offer, handling the paperwork, and will present it on your behalf. Offers to buy normally include a price and terms. The terms can represent thousands of dollars in additional value for buyers – or costs.
STEP 8 : Negotiate the Contract
The negotiating process is a back and forth communication that requires a clear understanding of all the terms and conditions involved. Lean on your agent during this process so that any proposed changes made by seller’s counteroffer can be reviewed quickly. There are countless factors involved in the negotiations, including but not limited to:
+ Date of possession
+ Inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment
STEP 9 : Make a Final Loan Application
Once your final loan approval is obtained, your agent can assist you in arranging for homeowner’s insurance and other necessary details prior to closing.
STEP 10 : Inspections
Once the terms of purchase have been agreed upon, it is time to evaluate the property. You should NEVER buy a home without having it inspected by a professional. Your inspections will help you avoid purchasing a home in need of major repairs or one damaged by termites. Additional inspections that will be required by your lender will include a survey to determine boundaries and an appraisal to determine value.
STEP 11 : Close On Your Home J
Your Realtor will confirm that all contract conditions have been met or completed and review a closing checklist; assist in scheduling and conducting your final walk-through prior to closing; review closing figures, closing documents and the title insurance commitment with you so you will know what to expect during the closing process; and, finally, attend the closing to answer any questions or deal with last-minute issues.