- Determine how much you can afford, and get pre-approved — How do you figure out how much you can afford? The recommended starting amount is a property that is two, no more than three, times your household income. Of course, your down payment, credit, and debt to income ratio will also come into play here. Once you have an idea of what your budget is, it’s time to head to the bank. The lender will help you get pre-qualified. You’ll provide basic details about your current finances, like income, savings, and investments you have. Later down the line, the banker will look a little more in-depth to get you approved for credit.
- Find a real estate agent and property search — Once you know what you can afford, and a general idea of what loan amount you can get approved for, it’s time to find a real estate agent to work with. Your agent will help you through the home buying process from start to finish. They can help provide you with information about the neighborhoods you are looking in. Once you find a home, that meets your needs, the agent will help you make sure the home is ready and help negotiate the sale. While looking at homes, it can be helpful to make notes of things you like and do not like to look for in future properties. Checking things like plumbing and electricity are in working order are small details that seem like no big deal, but can be costly for you if missed.
- You found a home, now what? — Congrats, you finally found a place that you fell in love with! Put in an offer. This moves the house into something called escrow. Now it’s time to get back with your lender. Loan approval should be an easy step since you’ve been pre-approved. You should plan to discuss your finances in more depth and bring things like w-2 and tax information, pay stubs, and bank statements. While your waiting for your loan is a prime time to have the house professionally inspected. Your agent can help arrange the inspection. The house will be checked over for anything that could need a major repair, like structural or utility damage. Depending on this inspection, you may need to negotiate fixes be completed before closing, or withdraw your interest at all. You should also have the home appraised. This will tell you that the listing price is fair for the home, and the neighborhood it’s in.
- Closing — You’re happy with the home inspection results are clear, the appraisal is fair, and have your loan approved so now you’re ready to start closing the sale. Your lender should arrange the paperwork to be done through a title company. This will include checking that there are no issues with the property being able to be sold and your loan information. Shortly after the paperwork is completed, the check will be delivered to the seller and the home is yours!
The right agent can be a big difference. Your agent can turn around and help you sell your previous property, or even help you move your valuables. Home buying can be stressful but with the right agent, it can be a smooth and easy process. Let Ark Realty agents help find your new home!