Buying a home can be as straightforward or complicated as you want it to be. Regardless of what your dream home looks like, buying a house will be one of the most essential steps in your life from a financial standpoint.
Therefore, you will need to find out what you can buy, before heading out to look at the houses you are interested in. Once you have made up your mind and feel ready to go ahead with purchasing a home, talk to a lender, and see what kind of numbers you are qualified for, mortgage wise. Once you have done that, you can talk to a real estate agent to find your dream home.
The following are some of the typical steps people take to find the house of their dreams.
Start visualising your dream home
The type of house you will need will depend entirely on your situation. Obviously, singles, couples, or couples with children are all going to have different needs. If you and your partner have children, then the number of variables to think about will increase. Factors such as school districts and safety are going to make it to the top of the list.
Regardless of what your status is, the idea here is to get the house you need, not one that you can afford. For example, if there are two children in the family, then you will need a home that has three bedrooms and a decent sized yard for the children to play in.
For singles and couples, a simpler place may be enough. In fact, if you are single or have a spouse, then a condo or apartment is also a great option.
A great way to figure out what you want is to start writing down what exactly you need and what things are optional, including a deadline. It’s best not to deviate from the list you made and make compromises. A real estate purchase list should resemble the following points:
- Finance planning
- Type of house needed
- Finding an experienced real estate professional
- Loan hunting options
Start thinking about money
Once you have a pretty good idea of what you want from a new home, start talking to the banks regarding budgeting and financial planning.
After they pre-approve you for a loan, you will have a clear idea regarding what exactly you can afford. At this stage, you are free to start researching online for prices and locations of the house. Start researching real estate companies or agents. You will find online reviews and maybe even get some personal referrals from friends and family who may have dealt with an agent in the past.
What to do when you find the your perfect home
Most people start off by using the Internet to pinpoint the houses to look at. However, using a real estate agent can get rid of a lot of headaches, especially when you start the process of negotiating the home purchase.
Apart from price negotiation, an agent can take care of other necessary steps, such as finding an experienced house inspector to check for damages. In fact, if it is your first home purchase, it is generally a good idea to get as much professional help as you can before signing on the dotted line.
Finding the right loan to finance your home purchase
Sure, you may have already been pre-approved for a loan with your bank. But there is nothing in the rules that say you have to go with a particular company. Start talking to other lenders, and see what they can offer.
Changes in even a couple of percentage points can mean significant savings down the road. The same is true of other home-related expenses such as insurance and warranties. Let companies know that you are shopping around, which will incentivize them to give you better rates.
Some companies can give quite a bit of discounts based on factors such as age, military service, marital status, etc.
Make it easy on you
The bottom line is that buying a home need not be a stressful affair if you do your due diligence. The idea is to create a plan of action and then write it down. Once you have lined up all your ducks in a row start talking to a real estate agent.
Having a good agent on your side will take out the clutter and confusion in your house hunting journey and help you settle down in your dream home.