Budgeting for a new home may require you to access a down payment assistance program. There are several options that require repayment while others offer grants that you do not have to pay back.
Buying A Home Is Stressful
Buying a home is stressful. There is no doubt about it. Knowing the ins and outs of how to cope with it all is key.
Bear in mind that the steps in the home buying process can vary from state to state, depending on local custom. However, when you strip away all of the crap, which may or may not happen to you, there are really only 5 basic steps to buying a home.
You can do these 5 steps in any order you want.
Hire an Agent
Hiring an Agent is important. Some people put emphasis on this as the first thing to do. You can, but keep in mind, in my opinion they should not start showing you homes right away. An agent will and should save you time, and walk you through all the steps to homebuying.
An agent can send you listings directly from MLS that fit your parameters, and you won't waste time looking at listings that are under contract.
Agents often know of new listings coming up that are not yet on the market.
Some agents will preview the homes for you depending on your schedule and distance from where you are looking to purchase.
An agent can generally spot over priced homes and advise you accordingly.
Get a Loan
Speaking with a lender is next step and the most important. Home buyers need to know what they qualify for before looking. Getting all the necessary paper work out of the way and getting the financing lined up alleviates the stress of the financial side of things.
Find a Home to Buy
Buying a home can be an overwhelming process and emotionally draining. I advise buyers to schedule a maximum of 5 homes at a time because any more than that will make a buyer's head spin and they all start to look alike. IF you have children under the age of 10, leave them at home. Your focus needs to be on the house not the kids. Or have someone who can come along and watch them. Best bet is a sitter not anyone who will be buying the home with you. Viewing homes is time out of your day as well as the sellers and spending an hour taking turns while the other watches the kids is rude to the seller.
Most buyers conduct a lot of research online before ever stepping foot in a home. Buyers spend an average of 6 to 8 weeks, according to the National Association of REALTORS, trying to figure out where they want to live. But once the neighborhood is selected, most buyers end up buying a home after 2 or 3 home tours.
Negotiate the Offer
Buyers sometimes make the mistake of comparing the sales price of a home to other homes they have seen. It's a mistake to compare sales prices among homes for sale. That's because sellers can ask any price they want. It doesn't mean the home will sell at that price. Your agent should have done a market analysis on the area and will know the approximate value of the homes in the area. IF it is priced right your agent will know.
Comparable sales are similar type homes in the same condition and location that have sold within the past 3 months.
Pending Sales will become the comparable sales by the time your home closes.
BE prepared financially and know that you may have to pay over asking price in a seller's market, especially if many buyers are vying for the same inventory. Your agent can give you a reasonable price range and help to manage your expectations. An good buyer's agent knows there is always more to an offer than its price, but price is paramount. Keep in mind when thinking of an offer if there are any HOA's or additional costs on your part for the home, such as paid parking garage etc. Your Earnest Money or Good Faith money should also be considered, a strong offer tends to include a higher amount here, convincing the seller you really are willing to take a risk on buying their home.
Do a Home Inspection
The home inspection takes place after your offer has been submitted and accepted. It is typically a contingency, letting the seller know that if everything is ok, or they are willing to make some repairs you are good to go. You can have an inspection prior to making an offer, however, in a seller's market there isn't a lot of time and it is an additional cost to you even if you decide against the home.
Sellers are generally not required to make repairs if problems are discovered during a home inspection. A home inspection is for the buyer's edification. However, sometimes when a buyer gives a Repair Request to the seller, rather than blow the deal, the seller will often agree to make a repair.
All in all, buying a homes can and is 90% of the time very stressful. IF you have an agent who knows what they are doing and is a great communicator you should have no problems with the process. CHEERS!
As a Full Time real estate agent for the past 23 years, Sheryll has helped hundreds of home owners in Colorado buy and sell their homes. Sheryll's easy going, no pressure style and her in depth knowl....