Buying a home can seem like a big process, with so many steps and details to attend to. As a real estate agent, I want to make sure you are prepared to take those steps so I've created a three part series about the home buying process.
The Home Buying Process - Part 1:
Mortgage Pre-Approval and House Hunting
When you've decided you're ready to buy your first home or condo, the first step is to talk with a lender about getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With this step, the lender performs a credit check and reviews your finances, including all of your assets, income, and debts. The lender then provides you with the amount of money that they believe you can afford to borrow to pay for a home and a letter to show that you are pre-approved for up to this loan amount. This becomes your buying power and helps you to know what budget you have for your next step in the home buying process. As a realtor, I have a network of lenders who are always glad to help with pre-approval for a mortgage.
Once you know your buying power, it's time to start house hunting! Let's be honest, there are a lot of places for sale, which can make the house hunting process seem daunting and time consuming. I recommend meeting with your realtor for a buyer's consultation. It won't cost you anything, and could help to speed up your house hunting. Working with a realtor can also make this part of the process very easy. We have a variety of resources available to help weed out homes that won't meet your wants and needs. Our resources also keep us up to date with the most recently available homes, so you don’t miss out on your dream home.
Many people start their search on websites such as Zillow or Realtor.com Your real estate agent might also have their own website with search options. By searching directly through your agent's site, you can easily communicate the properties that you like and even leave notes for your agent.
Things to consider:
Where would you like to live?
Do you want a condo or single family home?
How many bedrooms do you want?
How many bathrooms?
What do you like about where you currently live?
What do you wish was different about where you currently live?
What things must your home include?
What things would you not like to see included?
Some of those things to consider are very easy to search for online, filters allow you to narrow down to neighborhood, number of bedrooms and property size, while others are a bit more challenging. Your realtor has in depth knowledge of all the properties currently for sale in the area, and can help match your wants and needs with the home or homes that are available on the market.
Once you've found the one you want, it's time to make an offer! Part two of the series will explore the offer and negotiation.