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Understanding the 7 Steps to Buy a Home

1) Loan Pre-qualification

The first step toward determining how much house you can afford is to get prequalified by a lender. This is a process where a lender takes a look at your assets, liabilities, credit, and income to determine how much monthly mortgage payment you can afford. It is important to be very thorough when preparing documents for lenders so the lenders can accurately determine how much home you can afford.

Another part of the pre-qualification process may be addressing any problem issues on your credit. Many lenders are experts in helping you identify some ways to quickly improve your credit which will help you obtain a home loan.

2) Real Estate Agent

The next important step in buying a home is to pick out a real estate agent. Every reputable real estate agent will have their own website as well as some social media which is a huge asset to buyers because you can do your research and feel like you have an idea who the realtor is and who you will be working with before you make the commitment and ask them to help you find a home.  After you pick a realtor that you feel it is an expert, be prepared to let that agent lead you through the home buying process. Many hurdles that are unexpected may come up and some situations to become stressful. If you hire an expert agent, they will be able to handle many of those stresses and help make your home buying experience the pleasure.

3) Pick neighborhoods/home criteria

It is important that buyers understand our MLS system is very efficient and will produce automatic emails when new houses hit the market that fit your criteria. When your agent asks the criteria you’re looking for, be sure and give the agent a thorough answer because the more information you give the agent, the better of home searches the agent will be able to set up for you on MLS.  This will result in you spending your time looking at houses that are what you’re looking for and you will not spend time looking at houses that do not fit your criteria and your needs.

4) Make Offers

One of the more difficult things in buying real estate is to make an effort not to get too attached to any home before you own it. We recommend discussing potential offers (both price or terms) with your realtor expert at Realnet. Because our realtors are involved in these type of negotiations every day, we are expert negotiators and we will help you get the best possible price on your home.

5) Home Inspections

Once you find a house that you want to buy and sign a contract with the seller, the next step is to have inspections done. Be prepared to spend some money on these home inspections which will protect you and make sure the house is what you’re expecting and you won’t have surprises down the road. The survey, home inspection, appraisal, and termite inspection are all inspections we recommend for every homebuyer.

6) Loan Docs

As your lender is preparing your loan, you can expect to provide some additional documentation when the loan gets to underwriting. Underwriting is comparable to running a fine tooth comb through your loan file and lenders do frequently require additional information and financial documentation to make sure the monthly payments will be affordable.  Don’t let the stress get to you if your lender requires more documentation, this happens on almost every loan.

7) Closing

The final step in buying a home is closing day! On closing day, typically all parties meet at a title company or attorney’s office. This is when all documents including the deed, closing statements, and title policies are finalized. When you walk out of the closing, you officially own the home, CONGRATULATIONS!

Next: Home Affordability Calculator

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