9 SIMPLE STEPS TO HOME OWNERSHIP
1. Get Educated. Be an informed buyer. Preparation for your home buying is essential. Numerous guides and online information is available. Visit your local library or bookstore. Gather information and and keep up-to-date on the real estate market. Enroll in a home buying class if this is your first home.
2. Calculate How Much You Can Afford & Stay Within Your Budget. Get your financial picture in focus. Stay within your comfort zone and do not go to your max. Get a copy of your credit report online.
3. Shop for a Mortgage Loan. Shop with the power of a cash buyer. Use a local lender. Get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved helps to smooth the entire process of buying a home.
4. Shopping for a Home.
a. Find an agent you can trust.
b. Choose an agent that knows your target neighborhood.
c. Discuss with your agent agency and "who represents who."
d. Determine your housing needs and wants.
e. Time to HOUSE HUNT. Keep track of the properties you have seen. Make a score card for each house. This will help you remember the details of properties that you have visited and will save you a great deal of time, and it will help you to avoid disappointments.
f. When you find an acceptable home, write an offer. Have your real estate agent research and review recent past MLS sales to decide what price to offer.
5. Negotiating the Purchase Agreement. Your real estate agent will negotiate your home buying offer with the listing agent. There may be counter offers. Once all the terms and conditions of the offer are agreed to by buyer and seller, the offer will become a contract. The sellers agent will date the final acceptance of the contract.
6. Call the Home Inspector.
a. Arrange for a home inspection. Choose a reputable professional. Protect yourself and DO NOT skip this step. All of the hard work you have done up to this point will be lost if you do not have the home thoroughly inspected.
b. Negotiate any repairs with the seller through your real estate agent.
c. Learn about home warranties, the cost of a home warranty agreement, and what is covered and not covered.
7. Secure Insurance on the Property.
8. Final Preparation/Loan Closing.
a. Secure final loan approval and a commitment from your lending institution.
b. Make moving plans.
c. Do a walk through of the house.
d. Review papers and settlement statement with your closer. Ask questions if you don't understand legal terms or charges on the closing documents. Sign papers. Give title agent your certified funds for closing costs.
9. Celebrate! You did it!
Enjoy your new home! Celebrate closing on your new home with family and friends. Have some champagne or a sparkling beverage. Congratulations!
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