There are many “tips” that people offer, but I like to stick to the “Top 10” that work!
1. Prepare Yourself to Buy a Home.
Lots of thought obviously goes in to buying a new home and transitioning from your current home. Things to consider should include where you want to live, how big/small you want your house to be, what kind of community you want to live in and how soon do you need this new life to happen. This all gets very exciting as you start to envision your new space and your family living in it, so, be sure to savor each moment and enjoy the process.
2. You Need to Get Yourself a Great Realtor©!
Why do you need to use a Realtor© versus trying to purchase a home by yourself? Well, the reason is because the Realtor© has information that is invaluable in helping you follow the most efficient path to home ownership and breaking the barriers that are in your way. They have been working in that neighborhood for years, typically, and they know the “comps” of the homes being bought and sold in the area, as well as helping you find financing options and local business connections. It is “who you know”, not “what you know”, after all, right?
3. Get Pre-Approved!
There’s nothing worse than moving forward with all the excitement and visions of living in your beautiful new home if your financial situation makes it impossible. Ease your nerves and find yourself a great banker that you can see yourself with for the long haul. (Hint: A great Realtor© can typically match you up with a great banker, no problem!)
4. Search Online and then Physically Go Look at Homes with Your Realtor©.
Compile a LIST of must-haves and “deal-breakers” before you go online, or step one foot into a car to go look at different homes. You really need to so this, so as to not forget your priorities and get distracted with feature after feature that you will see. This list will allow you to narrow down the kind of home that you’re truly looking for… Are you wanting something older or something brand-new? Something that’s new construction or more traditional and “historic”? Do you need to be downtown near all the action? Anything you write down will give your Realtor© the information they need to match you with exactly what you are wanting.
5. Choose THE Home of your Dreams!
So, which home is indeed the home that you see yourself living in “forever”? Many Realtors will tell you that you just get a “feeling” when you walk into the home that you can see yourself living in. There’s an energy about it that really makes you feel comfortable and that causes it feel “homey” when you enter into the space. Be sure to bring your spouse, or the people you’ll be living with in the home, with you and they will be able to give you some sort of feedback, as well, as to whether they can see themselves living there and feeling really comfortable there… So, after you figure out the chemistry and energy of the home, imagine your new lives and make the decision which how will best suit your needs and make your family “live happily ever after”.
6. Finalize Funding.
The next tip is to keep your banker in the loop during the entire process of your search (they will become your “temporary” new best friend!) and let the financing “finalize” itself as you get closer to wanting to make an offer.
7. Make an Offer.
Ok, the day has finally arrived when you feel compelled to move forward and put your “money where your mouth is”, so to speak. You are ready to make an offer on your dream home! Allow your Realtor© to guide you through this process because they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to knowing what sellers will accept at that very moment in the market. Let the “dance” begin! They obviously want to make as much money as possible on the sale of their home and you, obviously, want to pay as least amount as possible, so that you have more money to buy new furniture (lol)… but with the help of your Realtor©, it will be a win-win for everyone.
8. Get All Your Insurance “Ducks” in a Row!
Ok, now we’ve made an offer and it has been accepted – Yay! – now we need to get all of our insurance “ducks” in a row! This can be accomplished through personal referrals or from your Realtor©. They will have many different people for you to choose from in getting the paperwork that you need at the price that fits your budget. You may also need flood or earthquake insurance, depending on the location of your new home and many homebuyers also want that little added protection of a one-year “warranty” which covers anything that goes wrong with the home during the first year! A thorough home inspection also needs to be scheduled asap! Lots to organize, but very do-able if you know who to talk to…
“Closing” on your new home (or “settlement”, or “escrow” as it is also called) is becoming more and more automated. Yes, your signature is needed personally on several documents, but as far as the money transfer and the finalized documentation, most of that can be taken care of online. Expect the entire process to take about 6 weeks, give or take a couple of weeks.
10. Move in!
Well, it’s time for you to move in! About two weeks after your closing, you can contact your Realtor© and see where everything is in the process. Now comes the “responsibility” part… where you’ll be dealing with the property taxes on a yearly basis, paying her mortgage, of course, and all the fun that “making the place your own” entails… The best news of all, is that it is YOUR home and you and your family need to starting living your new life! Enjoy!