You’re looking at buying your first home and the excitement rushes through your body as you grab your local real estate flyer, and then you realize, how and where do I even begin? Well here are a few steps to help you along and to make this process a little easier on you. This is a huge investment that you are wanting to make, probably the biggest one in your lifetime, therefore it can get stressful and you can feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders, but if you follow these few steps, you may be able to make it a little less stressful.
Step #1- You will want to go see a mortgage broker, either at your bank, or at any mortgage company, that choice is yours. They will be able to give you an estimate of what you can spend, thus narrowing your search down, so you know when you look at the home with $5,000,000 price tag, you will know if you can or can’t afford it. This price is a starting point to help you determine what your monthly payments will be based on your job, wage etc. But this helps narrow your search down to what you can realistically afford.
Step #2- Determine your needs and your wants for your first home, do you want 5 bedrooms or do you want to start a little smaller with 2 bedrooms. Does it matter how many bathrooms there are, how much property is there, the location, the neighborhood, many different factors to consider. Once you have complied a list, you will have another thing to help narrow your search, there is not much point to look at 2 bedroom homes when you need 4 bedrooms. Over the course of looking you may need to take things off the list, but ultimately it is up to you as to what things are wants and what things are needs.
Step #3- Look at as many homes as you can so that you get to understand the market that you are wanting to buy in. If you look at one home and make an offer on it, you don’t really know if the price is a good market value or not. If you look at more homes you will have enough knowledge about the market to make a good informed decision on the home you do like. Keep in mind that different locations will also have different prices as some areas are more sought after that others.
Step #4- Once you have found the house you like, it’s time to make an offer. Now you can do the paperwork yourself or you can have a lawyer/notary or a licensed Realtor do it. Make sure when you write up your offer it includes; the address of the home you intend to buy, your name as Buyer and the Sellers name, your price (make sure you don’t offer full price, most sellers are negotiable on it, unless you are in a hot market where homes are selling in 1 day), your possession dates, what things you want included (ie: fridge, stove, or the beautiful chandelier in the entrance hall), and of course conditions. Conditions are things to be satisfied before you make the deal firm. You can have conditions regarding your approval for financing (all the bank will need now is information about the house if you went through Step #1) a home inspection (this is very important as a home inspector will tell you things about the house that you may not have known and in some cases will save you from buying a home that is structurally unstable) and whatever else you want to satisfy yourself with before firming the deal. Conditions give you the capacity to walk away from the deal if something isn’t satisfactory, ie: the bank states that the home is only worth so much and you are over by $10,000, you obviously will not be able to buy that house unless the seller comes down in their price.
Ste #5- NEGOTIATE!! Once the original offer has been given to the seller, they will most likely come back with the terms and conditions they want on the contract, ie: their counter offer. You can go back and forth with the seller until both parties have agreed to all terms of the contract. At this point if you have no Realtor representing you, go to a lawyer or notary and have them check over the final contract before signing.
Ste #6- Work on conditions, Once the contract is agreed to you will have a certain date or time frame to remove all your conditions off the contract. So if you have a financing subject you will have to have an approval prior to removing the condition from the contract, or have your home inspection done etc. Once you are satisfied with all the conditions, you can remove them from a contract done on an addendum page. This would make the deal firm and you would be bound by law to complete with the sale.
Step #7- Congratulations! You have just purchased your new home! Now it is time to start packing all your belongings and getting ready to move into your new home.
With the above steps you should be able to purchase a home with little to no stress, as the above steps are only guidelines, if a person is unsure of buying a home privately enlist the help of a licensed Realtor. There can be different situations that arise as one deal will be completely different than the other, but if you do get stuck with something you don’t know how to deal with speak to a professional that will be able to give you the proper guidance. Having a Realtor take you through this is a good choice, as they handle all the searching and appointment bookings and all the paperwork as well, or have a lawyer or notary check all the paperwork over to make sure it is all done legally and in your best interest. All the best to you all as you search for your new home and the biggest investment of your life!