Home Buyers Guide

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. It can be hard to know if you’re making a good investment, especially if this is your first time buying a home. To help ease your mind and make the process easier we’ve created this home buyer’s guide.

Decide What You Want

Before you start looking at houses, make a list of your needs. A house can be gorgeous but be impractical for you. What features will make your life easier now and in the future? What are your dealbreakers? How many rooms do you need?

Asking questions like this will help you narrow your search and save you from wasting time touring houses that won’t work for you.

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Once you’ve written your initial list decide what are needs and what are wants. Where are you willing to compromise? Will you give up a certain location to get more rooms? Can some of the things on your list be achieved with home renovations?

It’s important to be realistic when creating your list. Keep your budget restrictions in mind as you narrow down your list.

Find Out What You Qualify For

Once you know what you want, find out what your final budget is going to be. This is where you need to find your lender and begin the pre-approval process. That will give you your initial loan estimate and show you whether what you’re aiming for is realistic. Remember to be honest about your finances, exaggerating now won’t help you later.

Look For Homes In Your Range

Once you have your pre-approval loan estimate you can start exploring what’s available in your desired area. Work with your lender to put together a list of good options and start touring.

Take your list along with you so you can consider how houses match up with your needs. Picture yourself living in the home and think about what your day-to-day life looks like. Will you need to do renovations? Does the space work as it is? When was the last structural inspection?

Ask yourself, and the seller, the necessary questions to gain all the information you need.

Discuss Your Decision

When you have a list of contenders in mind pay a visit to your lender. Discuss how much of a down payment you’re looking at, what your monthly payment would be, and other financial considerations.

Once you’re sure you’re seeing the whole picture, it’s time to make your decision. Choose the house that will work best for you and finish out the loan approval process.

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Close With The Seller

Your lender can help you initiate the buying process and handle any last-minute inspections. From there it’s just a matter of getting the proper papers signed and ensuring your payment schedule is set up.

Take Care Of Your Investment

Whether you plan to live in this house forever or sell it in a few years, you want to take care of it. Develop a regular maintenance schedule, consider whether upgrades are necessary, and keep an eye on the housing market.