Buying a house is not straight forward. While it can seem as simple as finding a home you like and signing on the dotted line, it is a much more complicated process. If you are looking at buying a house then we recommend following our step by step guide to ensure you don’t leave anything out.
- Do your homework
The first step is to do your homework on the market. You likely know what city you want to live in but it is now time to look into all the neighborhoods. Find a neighborhood that works for you and start looking online at house prices to see if they match your income and the amount you have in mind. To work out how much you can afford to pay there are many online mortgage calculators that can quickly figure out what your likely repayment figure will be.
- Get your finances in order
Once you have a rough idea of where you want to live and how much you can afford, the next step is to find some houses. Before you do that you want to make sure that all your work is done. The last thing you want to do is find your dream home and then lose it because you are still waiting on a credit report. Prepare all your financial information in advance to ensure you are ready to sign when the time is right. This means bank statements, credit reports, and any accounts from businesses you own. If you can talk to your bank about getting preapproval for a mortgage as well. It may be worthwhile talking to a number of financial institutes to determine who is offering the best rates.
- Choose your agent
Choosing a real estate agent is an important step that most people don’t prepare correctly. Instead of taking the one that lives closest to you or the one that advertises the most, interview. Interview five estate agents in your area and choose the one who you feel you can work with through this process. Treat it like a job interview, where they are the applicant, not you.
- Start looking at homes
You will now need to look at homes and a lot of them. While nothing beats a live tour there are now many virtual options that are growing in popularity.
- Make an offer
If you have found your dream home you now need to make an offer. Talk to your agent to determine the value of the home against the asking price. Make an offer you are comfortable with.
Depending on the offer the seller will likely come back with a counter or some requests. This is where choosing the right agent pays off. Working closely with them will get the deal over the line.
- Inspect that home
With the deal pending you now need to get the house inspected. Speak to an engineer, your agent can likely recommend one and get the house checked out. Don’t save a couple of hundred dollars now when it could cost you thousands in the future.
- Submit a loan application
It is now time to find that money. Return to your bank and submit a loan application for the required amount.
- Other professionals
At this point you should talk to a title insurance company, real estate attorney, and possibly an architect (if you plan on getting some work done). At this time you will likely get the house appraised as well to make sure the value matches the amount you are paying.
- Close and keys
If you have done everything correctly it is now time to sign. This is as simple as it sounds and you will likely receive the keys that day. Don’t worry though your estate agent is still on hand to help. Feel free to bother them with any silly questions that you may have over the coming weeks, it is all part of what you paid them for.