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What Do You Need to Buy a House?

Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these 10 steps to buy a house can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.

buy house

 

Research

 

Research the location. Do a walk through at different times of the day, perhaps even after a day of rain. Look into appliances. Be sure your finances are in order. Look at all and potential additional costs.  

 

Determine Budget

 

One of the easiest ways to calculate your home buying budget is the 25% rule, which dictates that your mortgage shouldn’t be more than 25% of your gross income each month. Keep in mind that, if you have other debts, you must consider them, in addition to the mortgage payment, to determine how much you can truly afford.

 

Get Pre-Qualified

 

A preapproval gives you an idea of how much you can borrow. It lets sellers know you have the borrowing power to back up an offer you make to buy their home. It tells real estate agents, who work on commission, that spending time on you could well pay off with a transaction. And it alerts lenders that you’re a savvy borrower who may soon be taking out a mortgage.

 

Get Agent

 

Agents may be able to give you access to more listings (including those that are For Sale By Owner). They can also help you avoid paying too much for a property. Negotiating the price and sale conditions. Your agent can serve as a liaison between you and pushy sellers or seller’s agents.

 

House Hunt & Offer

 

You’ve found a house you love, and now you’re ready to make an offer. This is where the process really begins to get serious and the paperwork starts to build. The written offer is legally binding, so in most cases, a simple letter won’t work. There are many states, and sometimes local, laws guiding the process, so you’ll want to cover all the bases by using a legally approved form.

 

Get Home Inspection

 

Many first-time homebuyers don’t realize that it’s their responsibility to hire a home inspector. Make sure you make your offer conditional upon inspection or get one done before you make a bid.

 

Bank Mortgage

 

The most important factor in determining which type of mortgage is best for you to include. Conventional or government-backed loan, fixed or adjustable rate, mortgage term, know your annual percentage rate, or APR. Remember, don’t borrow more than you can handle.

 

Home Appraisal

 

An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of the value of a home and is used whenever a mortgage is involved in the buying, refinancing, or selling of that property.

 

Paperwork

 

As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your lender will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

 

Closing

 

There are three main documents to sign during the closing, including a deed of trust or mortgage, which is a document that puts a lien on your property as collateral for your loan. The second document is the promissory note, a legal agreement to pay the lender, including when you will make your payments and where you will send them. The last one is the closing disclosure, an itemized list of your final credits and charges

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