10 Steps to Home Ownership
Buying a home can be an overwhelming experience! Here are ten steps to make the process as smooth as possible. Ready to take the next step? Contact us (919) 684-6704.
- Gather the facts - Are you ready? Do you have the financial backing? Research the neighborhoods you are interested in living in and investigate the schools and cost of living to determine which is right for you and your family.
- Find a lender - Calculate how much money you are eligible to borrow in order to purchase your home. You can also discuss credit and other loan matters that you have questions about with your lender.
- Get pre-approved - Once you are between 60 and 90 days of actively house hunting and purchasing a home, you should consider going through the pre-approval process. A pre-approval will be able to tell you exactly how much house you can afford. It can also give buying power with the seller to any bids you may make. And then you can search accordingly.
- Search for a house - You may choose to use a realtor or not, it is your own personal choice. If you choose to use a realtor, they will help you negotiate prices and assist you through the whole process.
- Make an offer - Once you have found a house, you need to make a written offer. From there, the negotiations begin.
- Apply for a loan - Once you have found your home, and your offer has been accepted, it is time to fill out your loan application. At this time you will find out an estimate of costs needed for closing and for the down payment. Take this time to ask any questions that you may have. On average the loan processing takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Stay in touch with your lender and make sure that your application is being processed accordingly.
- Arrange for a home inspection - Inspections will disclose any defects in the property that could materially affect its safety, livability, or resale value. Do not wait too long to have your home inspected however, there will be a time limit in the contract designating when the inspection should be completed (usually between 7 to 14 days).
- Secure homeowners insurance - Unless you pay cash for your home, one of the requirements that will be made by your lender is proof of a valid homeowners insurance policy, secured before closing. This policy will protect both your investment as well as the lender's. Investigate your best deal here, as it is a long term expense.
- The closing - Arrange for a closing agent or attorney. You are going to be required to sign a lot of documents; make sure you understand everything that you are signing, if you don't, ask questions! For any amount of money that you are paying, you will need a certified or cashier's check. At this time the owner will turn over the keys and give you any additional information needed about the house.
- Hire a moving company - Make comparisons in price and reserve time now. Make a checklist of what you need and where you will put it to avoid stress later.