Let's say one morning you wake up and realize that, yes, you should
buy a home. You're tired of throwing away money on rent and figure
that it's time to get into a home of your own. But you have
After all, if it's your first time, you've got questions. You might be
a little nervous that you'll mess up, and it's normal to feel that
way. You are probably spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and
making the most important financial purchase of your life.
You will find that being an informed individual about the home buying
process is empowering for you. Lucky for you that you came to the
right place. So let's get started buying your first home!
Consider if Home Buying is For You
Many people harbor secrets fears about buying a home, and some of
those fears are justified. Not everybody is cut out to own a home, and
if you're one of those people, it's better to find this out now than
when you're under contract.
Renting vs. Buying.
You might decide that renting is better for you than buying, because
buying a home has its drawbacks.
Reasons to Buy.
On the other side of the coin, there are many more benefits to buying.
Keep these reasons in mind if you start to get cold feet.
Should You Buy a Home Before Getting Married?
Tips for home buying with a partner or significant other before tying
the knot, plus how to handle the financial details of homeownership
without plans to ever marry.
Get Your Finances In Order
Line up your financing, set aside a down payment and study the loan
programs available. By doing your homework, you will know exactly how
much you can pay and what it will cost you.
Order a Free Credit Report.
Give yourself time to clean up a credit report that contains mistakes.
Dispute errors. Try to reduce your monthly debt obligations now by
paying down those loan balances.
Find a Lender.
Check out places to get a mortgage and compare rates and fees. Start
with your own financial institution, then interview a few mortgage
brokers and choose a loan product you completely understand.
Determine a Down Payment.
The more you put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payment.
Consider FHA Loans.
FHA loans carry competitive interest rates, come with minimum down
payment requirements and allow sellers to pay some or all of your
Get a Preapproval Letter.
Showing the seller you are already preapproved for a loan gives you an
edge during offer negotiation.
Pick a Real Estate Agent
With so much information available online, you might wonder why you
need an agent at all. But all local markets vary from one another, and
a good agent can guide you by giving you information based on
experience and market knowledge.
Why Hire an Agent?
An agent with experience can help you to avoid making mistakes such as
choosing the wrong home or offering too much.
Find a Real Estate Agent.
Start by asking your friends and family member for referrals. Make
sure you are comfortable with your agent before committing to work
with that person.
Follow Protocol for Working with Agents.
Here are 10 tips to prevent you from messing up or saying the wrong
thing to an agent.
Learn How to Avoid Home Buying Mistakes
The best way to avoid making a mistake it to learn from the mistakes
others have made. Buying a home in a desirable location is your best
defense. Remember: location, location, location.
First-Time Home Buyer Tips.
Start your search online, and don't rely on print because most homes
are not advertised in the newspaper.
Preview Homes for Sale.
Ask your agent to look at homes before showing them to you, and tour
only those that fit your parameters.
Avoid the Top 3 Home Buying Blunders.
Protect your earnest money deposit by writing contingencies into your
contract. Here's how to make sure you buy the right home.
Make an Offer and Negotiate Like a Pro
Although buying a home is not like buying a car, for example, you can
still negotiate to get a good price.
Top Three Top Negotiation Tips.
Price isn't the only consideration. Sellers often accept lower-priced
offers for other considerations.
Facing Multiple Offers.
If you really love the home, chances are another buyer will want it as
well. Here's how to win your offer.
Dealing with Counter Offers.
It's common for sellers and buyers to negotiate back and forth through
Get a Home Inspection and Read Disclosures
Never buy a home without getting a home inspection. Most states have
laws about the types of disclosures you are entitled to receive.
What a Home Inspection Covers.
Go through this list and make sure your home inspector doesn't miss
Besides disclosing lead-based paint, which any home built before 1978
can contain, sellers should notify you of major defects.
Do a Final Walk-Through.
Always do a final inspection a few days before closing to make sure
the property is in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.
Closing on Your Home
Transactions generally close within 30 to 60 days after your offer has
been accepted. Remember to reserve movers or a moving truck early
because many people move at the end of the month.
Shop for insurance rates carefully. Often, the company that insures
your automobiles may offer you the best policy rates.
Title Insurance Policy.
You might think you don't need a title policy, but it's the cheapest
form of insurance you can buy, and you pay the premium only once.
Home Buying Closing Process.
This covers every step of the home closing process, from the beginning
to the end.