There are a ton of things that go into buying your first home, and the process can be long and confusing if you don’t have a direction of what to do.
So, we made a checklist of everything that you’ll need to do & the steps to take when buying your first home! As always, consult with your real estate agent as well for help!
Decide on Pricing
It is important to figure out your finances and come to a price range that you can afford. As a first time home buyer, you should take into consideration all of the extra expenses that come with owning a home, and make sure that you set a budget that isn’t at your absolute maximum.
Owning a home comes with extra expenses like home maintenance, higher utilities bills, etc. so it is a good idea to give yourself some extra money each month to cover any unexpected costs.
Deciding on a price range is a great first step, because this will help you limit what houses you can look at and narrow down your choices.
Getting pre-approved for a loan from the bank is the next step in buying your first home, because without a pre-approval for a home loan, there isn’t really any reason to start looking at homes.
It can take a while to get pre-approved for a loan, so doing this before you start looking will ensure that you are approved & ready to make an offer, as homes can go quickly depending on the market.
Plus, you might not get approved for the amount that you were planning on, which will change the price of homes that you can look at.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Finding a good real estate agent is important when buying your first home. Your agent will help you by finding homes that are in your price range and with features on your wishlist.
Purchasing your first home with the help of an experienced real estate agent is much easier than trying to do it on your own, and will also help you out during the negotiation process.
Start Looking at Homes & Going to Open Houses
Once you’ve found an agent, now you get to do the fun part, looking at homes and going to open houses!
Work with your agent to find homes that are on the market, in your price range and that have the features you are looking for.
Find a Home You Like & Make an Offer
Once you find a home that you like and that fits most of your criteria for a first home, now it is time to make an offer on the home. Making an offer shows the homeowners that you are seriously interested in their property and are ready to make a purchase.
Your agent will help you determine the nature of your offer, whether you can offer less or more than the asking price. The amount that you offer will depend on various factors, so your agent is the best resource to help you determine what the right offering price is.
Get a Home Inspection
Once you’ve made an offer, it is important to get a home inspection. This is because one of the final steps is negotiations, where you can offer a new price based on the results of the home inspection.
Getting a home inspection is an essential step in any home buying process, and one that you shouldn’t skip. Home inspections are a tool to help buyers make a decision about a home, and if the findings in the inspection report show major defects that are costly or difficult to repair, you might want to reconsider if the home is right for you.
However, if the inspection doesn’t find anything major, then you have peace of mind that moving forward with the purchase of the home is a good decision.
Get the Home Appraised
Getting the home appraised will not only tell you how much the home is worth, but it is also required. Lenders require a home appraisal before they will issue a mortgage, so in order to purchase the home you will need a professional appraisal.
Negotiations and Closing
The final step is negotiations and making a final offer! You and your agent will need to look over the home inspection report findings and determine if you will ask for the homeowner to cover any repairs.
Once you determine a final offer price, you can negotiate with the homeowner and their agent. Once the offer is accepted, congratulations! You’ve now bought your first home!