If you are ready to begin the journey of homeownership, it is important to cross a few items off of your to-do list before hunting for the perfect house. Buying a home is a process, and you want to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few steps to take that will get you ready to buy a home.
1. Find an agent.
Finding an agent that works for you takes a major weight off your shoulders during the home buying process. Ask your friends and family for referrals and look into local agents that come highly recommended. A trusted agent will assist by providing recommendations for lenders and provide instruction throughout the process. In addition, they will be able to show you houses that you cannot find from a simple internet search and be able to negotiate for you along the way.
2. Identify your purchasing power.
A year to six months before you begin the buying process, find a lender and have them pull your credit. This will give insight into what to expect and what you may need to repair before you can purchase a home. Your lender will be able to let you know what you qualify for based on your current income. This allows you to search homes within your price range when that time comes.
3. Decide where you are willing to stay a while.
Remember that location is everything. A home is a commitment. You can always resell, but with the transaction fees that come along with buying a home, you may end up losing equity if you try to sell your home quickly after buying it. If you do not think the home is somewhere you can see yourself for several years, keep looking.
4. Consider your must haves.
There is a lot more to the purchasing process than just buying a home. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of a home that you are considering. How is the neighborhood? Will the long commute be overwhelming in 6 months? Make sure you have considered the aspects of what makes up your day-to-day life and how your new home will help or hurt that process.
5. Know the difference between your dream home and a fantasy home.
Being realistic is a key part of making the home buying process easier on you. Your agent will work hard to make your deal the best it can be, but when it comes down to it, you will usually get what you pay for. Major discounts typically mean you will have work to do, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a steal for you. Be realistic during your search and keep in mind that the perfect home might not be out there, but that doesn’t mean that your dream home isn’t.
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