Understandably, many first-time homebuyers want to jump in and just start looking at houses. However, there are many steps in the process to buy a house and doing them in order will help you along the path.
Decide if You are Ready for the Commitment
The transaction costs of buying real estate are high. Many real estate pros advise that you should hold onto the property for a minimum of 7 years for it to make sense to spend the money on purchasing a home.
If you aren’t sure that you are ready to commit to the house for that length of time, you might want to hold off until you find a house you are ready to be in for awhile.
Meet With a Lender
Before you start looking at houses, meet with a mortgage lender. You should start this process at least six months before you are ready to purchase a house.
The lender will look at your credit score and pull your credit report. This will help you see if there are any areas that you need to work on leading up to purchasing a house.
Your lender can also pre-qualify you so you know how much of a house you can afford.
However, you need to remember that just because a lender says you can spend a certain amount, it doesn’t mean that you should. Consider how much you are comfortably able to afford for a monthly payment.
Do Your Homework
Knowing as much as you can about the local market will help you to be an educated homebuyer. This is essential to making a purchase you are comfortable with.
By understanding what the area has to offer, you can confidently bid on a new home, knowing that you will enjoy the area for years to come. And by studying what the prices of comparable sales are in the area, you put yourself in a position to avoid overpaying.
Take Your Time
Do not be pushed into buying before you are ready to. Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision best made with a clear head.
When you are looking at houses carefully consider what you need in a house right now and what your future needs might be. If you are newly married and purchasing a house, consider if there will be enough room if you have children in the future.
Don’t be Tricked
If a house seems “too good to be true” there is a good chance that it is.
If you have found the deal of your lifetime, proceed with caution. Houses with low asking prices usually are priced low for a reason.
Take the time to complete your due diligence, such as appraisals and inspections, before purchasing a house.
Buying your first house is an exciting process. Following these steps will help make the process easier and ensure that you are happy at the end of the process.