In 2020, 2.38 million people in the US became home buyers for the first time.
Buying a home is difficult in a market that seems unpredictable for any person, but if you’ve never done it before, that makes it a lot more complex.
Are you planning to buy your first home?
Keep reading to get the tips you’ll need on our home buying checklist.
Pay Off Your Debts
You should try to pay off your debts before you do anything else if you’re interested in owning a home. If you can’t pay them off, at least pay them down significantly.
If you give yourself enough time, this will help your credit score. When you check your credit report, you want to make sure everything looks good so that you can get a better interest rate and the loan that you want for the home.
Figure Out How Much Home You Can Buy
Before you apply for a mortgage, you need to know what your price range will be and how much money the loan should be for.
It’s important to think about:
- Your gross income
- Down payment size
- Regular monthly expenses
- Credit score
Lenders will also take a look at the property taxes and homeowners insurance rates of the home you want to purchase when you take the next step toward getting a mortgage, so you need to err on the side of caution and don’t apply for too much.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Getting a mortgage pre-approval will tell you what a mortgage lender is willing to give you.
Even if you’re approved for more than you think, however, remember that this amount may actually still be more than you can afford. This is why taking the previous steps to figure out the amount of money you’re actually able to spend is extremely important.
Start Your Search
With your pre-approved mortgage offer ready to go, you now know how much you can spend and can look for homes that match your price point.
It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your own real estate agent or realtor at this point to help you find the perfect home.
Check out and “for sale” signs that you might see in the best neighborhood nearby, but also spend some time online. There are plenty of websites that sellers and realty offices list properties on, so you may have more luck finding what you’re looking for there.
Don’t just look at furnishings in a home, like the type of beds, chest of drawers, potted plants, or color schemes. Those are all details that you can change! Look instead at the layout, overall structure, and other factors that indicate the health of the home.
Make a Property Offer on the Home
Once you’ve found the perfect place, you can work with your real estate agent to put an offer down. They will help you figure out what an appropriate figure would be by looking at sales data and other property values in the area.
Remember to also request any repairs or contingencies that you want in the offer as well.
Make sure you have earnest money available in your bank account as well before you make an offer. This is part of your overall down payment that shows you’re serious about buying the home and is generally non-refundable if you back out.
Use This Home Buying Checklist
After you’ve taken the steps here on our home buying checklist, you’re going to be able to complete the process by working with your real estate agent and closing the deal.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the first home you want. You can always put an offer down on a different home if you get rejected for any reason!
Did you find this information helpful? If so, be sure to check out more of our website today for other home buying tips.