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10 Steps to Your New Home
Becoming a 1st Time Homebuyer is an exciting process, but it can be stressful if you don’t know what to expect. Unlike buying a new car, the home and location cannot be easily replicated. So always keep in mind that others could be competing to get the same home you want. While every purchase is slightly different, here are 10 typical steps every buyer takes.
Figure out the Financing
Before you begin seriously looking for a home (more than just looking at pictures), you should get preapproved for financing. It’s important to know if you can get financed, how much you can get financed for, and the costs of being financed (like the amount of a monthly payment). It’s also important for sellers to see you are a serious buyer. In fact, many sellers won’t show their house or take offers from buyers not preapproved for financing. So start by getting preapproved. Learn more about being preapproved.
Find Your Perfect Home
Sometimes you find the right home within minutes. And sometimes it can take months. With the Internet it has become so much easier to search through homes and find some that really interest you. Be sure to organize your needs and wants in order to narrow your search to just a few homes. Take some tours and find the perfect one for you.
Do Your Homework
Researching the property is important. You need to find out what similar properties are selling for in the area, so you know a fair price. You will want to know costs associated with the home, such as home insurance and property taxes. These are things your Freestone Agent loves to help you with.
Make a Deal to Purchase
Now it’s time to put a deal together and present it to the seller. Negotiating price and contingencies (time to close, inspections, and appraisals) is a vital game of give and take to complete a deal. These things should be in a contract, not just verbal. Your Freestone Agent will guide you through it with ease.
Hire the Closing Attorney
The word attorney can sound daunting to a first time homebuyer. Don’t be intimidated. They will search the history of the title and make sure it’s clean of things such as liens. Then they will finish the contract to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to you, and will handle getting the money to the seller. Plus, they are surprisingly affordable and often charge a flat fee.
Avoid any New Large Purchases
So you got the home for $150,000 and you were expecting to spend $200,000. Don’t celebrate by financing a new car for your new driveway. Opening new lines of credit could mess the whole deal up. Wait on a new purchase if you can. If you must make a purchase, be sure to talk with your financial representative first.
Get Inspections and Surveys
Usually you will get at least 2 types of inspections: home inspection and termite inspection. A licensed home inspector will go over the entire home, from the foundation to the roof. They will check everything they can access, and then submit a comprehensive report. If they find something in disrepair, you can ask the seller for it to be fixed. If they find something substantially wrong with the home, you can walk away from the deal. The termite inspector will make sure there isn’t an infestation. The surveyor will mark out the boundaries of the property and then let you know if there are any problems (like a fence going 2ft onto the neighbors property).
Sign off on Contingencies
Contingencies are conditions or actions that must be met for the deal to be binding (inspections, appraisals, financing). Most contingencies have a timeline, so it’s important to keep an eye on the schedule. But once all the contingencies have been met, you and the seller can sign in agreement (or let the time expire) and the sales contract becomes binding. Now you can focus on getting moved into your new home.
Finalize the Purchase
The closing date has arrived and you now finalize your purchase. Before closing you can do a final walkthrough of the home and make sure nothing has been incorrectly altered (like expensive light fixtures changed out with cheap light fixtures). You will then meet with the closing attorney and sign a bunch of documents and get the keys to your new home. That wonderful moment happens: You are officially the new owner.
Enjoy Your New Home
All the hard work has been completed. It’s now time to move in and enjoy making memories in your new home.