Conduct a Self-Assessment of Homeownership Readiness
Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these 10 steps can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.
Step 1: Start Your Research Early As soon as you can, start reading websites, newspapers, and magazines that have real estate listings. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay on the market. Step 2: Determine How Much House You Can Afford Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt.
Step 3: Get Prequalified and Preapproved for Credit for Your Mortgage Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much we can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at. Step 4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent Real estate agents are important partners when you’re buying or selling a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house. Step 5: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer Start touring homes in your price range. It might be helpful to take notes and pictures for all the homes you visit. You will see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them. Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.