How to Buy a House, When You Have Never Done It Before
Posted by Lisa Kohl on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 1:08pm
It’s taken some deep soul searching, but you’ve finally come to the conclusion that you’re tired of giving a large sum of money to your landlord every month and not having anything to show in return. Congratulations- you’re on your way to becoming a homeowner!
Now the question remains, how do I get started? Maybe you’ve poked around at what’s for sale on the internet and have seen homes that you think would be a good fit, but where to begin? While there’s tons of information about how to get started on your new home search I’m going to break it down for you in 6 easy steps to help you on your way from becoming a first time home buyer.
Ask yourself, “what is owning my own home worth?”
Meet with a Real Estate Expert
Not to toot my own horn, but having an agent who already has an experienced team in place is key to a smooth home search. Maybe you’re thinking, why does my real estate agent need a “team”? The reality is that there are many moving parts when it comes to buying a house. It’s not just you as the buyer, the seller and their agent.
There are many folks who are involved, including home inspectors, title companies, home insurance, etc. It’s also worth noting that as a buyer- you do not pay to have an agent represent you. An agent gets paid when the deal closes and is paid by the seller.
Get Your Money Lined Up
If you do not have a preferred loan officer you work with, your real estate agent should be able to refer you to a reputable loan officer who can make a loan for your home purchase. Let me tell you, these guys can work wonders. From getting you the best interest rate to pairing you with the best loan programs out there. This is how you’ll most likely be paying for your home so it’s important to have someone you know will return calls and not drop the ball.
Finding the Perfect Home
As a recap you’ve now got your rockstar agent and awesome loan preapproval from the best lender. You now know how much house you can afford. The next step- which happens to be my favorite is HOUSE SHOPPING! This is where your agent should be going through the motions with you to determine your needs and wants in a home. Do you require a certain number of bedrooms, is there a particular part of town you’d like to be in?
I could spend all day going over basic needs and wants questions but the point is- the clearer you are with what you’re wanting the better your agent can deliver better quality prospects and keep you from what I’d like to call buyer fatigue- the point where a home buyer sees so many houses, they all start to blend in together. This will start to happen at house #10.
Getting an Offer Accepted
So you’ve found the place- now you’ve got to make the OFFER! Depending on the type of market your area is experiencing you may or may not have a ton of time to mull over that perfect place you saw last weekend. Your agent should be advising you on these things along the way. That way you’re not blindsided when “the one” already received multiple offers after only being for sale for two days causing you to miss out.
While everyone loves to get a discount- you should always put your best foot forward in regards to the offer price and try to make the offer as clean as possible. Expect that your agent will have already been in contact with your loan officer- they’ll most likely need a copy of your loan preapproval to attach the offer you submit.
Your offer was accepted! Finding a home and getting your offer accepted is honestly half the battle. Next up is the home inspection. This next piece of advice I’m going to give you remember it clearly… ALWAYS get a home inspection and your agent should strongly recommend it as well. Even if it’s new construction.
A good home inspection is worth its weight in gold and definitely worth every penny. With some homes, there is way more than meets the eye when it comes to defects and other potential costly issues. You wouldn’t drive a car while blindfolded, so why would you buy a home with a blindfold on either?
So your inspection is done and now there are multiple parties handling your transaction behind the scenes. Your lender is working on getting the loan done so you can buy the home. The appraisal has most likely been ordered- an appraisal is a separate, unaffiliated 3rd party hired by your lender to make sure you’re not overpaying for the home. The title company is now working on the title search to ensure you get a home that doesn’t have any liens or other legal issues attached to it so that brings me to….
At this point 30-45 days have already passed since you made your initial offer on your home. Your home loan is ready and title work has been completed and so get ready to sign, sign and sign again. I promise the pain in your hand from signing so much will go away.
You’ll most likely go to the title company and the nice title person will be there to help walk you through all the documents. Your agent should be there with you too in the event you have any questions and to be there as a support system for you. Once you sign all your documents- they get formally recorded at the county courthouse making the transaction final and making you a HOMEOWNER!
Read More: Closing on Your Dream Home
While it may seem like a daunting process- buying a home is one of the most exciting and rewarding things to witness first hand. I personally take great pleasure in being able to be the one to hand over the keys to such a great investment. For more how to buy a house check out page on Home Buying. To begin your new home search start here at WeKnowBoise.com. Happy Home Buying!
Lisa Kohl is a full-time Boise, Idaho real estate agent and Realtor®. Lisa helps buyers purchase homes throughout Idaho. Lisa can be contacted at (208) 391-4466. She would be happy to share her local knowledge and expertise with you! We Know Boise Real Estate provides service in Boise and surrounding Idaho cities including Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Kuna, Middleton, Star and Caldwell.
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