If you’re thinking about buying a home but feeling overwhelmed by the process, this list is for you! At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, we know the home-buying process can look daunting. But we’re here to help. Start by reading our outline below to help you find your perfect home.
- Determine feasibility and affordability. Before jumping into a mortgage or loan, check your credit. You can obtain a free credit report annually by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Check your report for errors. If you find any, dispute them before beginning the home-buying process. If your credit score is on the low side, see what you can do to remedy it before getting a loan. The higher your credit score, the better the loan you can apply for will be. Once you’ve squared away your credit, calculate how much you can afford. Factor in the money you’ll need for a down payment, closing costs and other fees. Work with a home-loan specialist to help you understand the costs involved with buying a home.
- Look for a lender and a real estate agent. When it comes to your lender and your agent, the best thing to do is shop around. Start with recommendations from friends, family and coworkers. Research companies through online reviews and the Better Business Bureau. After you’ve found the right lender, start the preapproval process. This is where your credit history comes into play in helping you get the best rates. Once the preapproval process is complete, begin your search for a real estate agent. Work with someone who understands your needs or specializes in the areas where you want to buy.
- Finding the home. While many homes are on the market, not all of them will meet your needs. Create a list of features your future residence must have. Consider a separate list of items you would like but aren’t a necessity. Share the list with your agent to help him/her find the best home for you. To find your perfect home, search online and look through open-house guides.
- Negotiate and make an offer. Once you’ve settled on your home, it’s time to make an offer. Keep in mind that many sellers price their homes on the higher side and expect negotiations will be involved. Consult with your real estate agent on how to negotiate the best price for your new home.
- Shop and select the right mortgage. A home mortgage is not one-size-fits-all. The basic types include adjustable-rate, fixed-rate and interest-only. Ask your mortgage lender questions and specifics on each option to determine which is right for you.
- Get a home inspection. Before you continue onto the final motions of closing, be sure to get a home inspection to ensure the property is in good condition.
- Obtain homeowners insurance. You will need homeowners insurance to be coordinated prior to closing. Various types of coverage are available. Work with an insurance counselor to get appropriate coverage and rates.
- Complete a final walkthrough. This is your last chance to make sure the property is as agreed upon. Schedule your final walkthrough as close to your closing date as possible. For more information about the final walkthrough, visit http://blog.bhhscalifornia.com/the-final-walkthrough-whats-it-to-you/.
- Congratulations, you’re now a new homeowner!
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