Buying a home for the first time can be intimidating, and it can be difficult to understand all of the necessary steps to take along the way. However, by going into the home buying experience fully prepared and following a pre established checklist, you can ensure you handle each and every stage effectively and efficiently.
Fortunately, home buying is never as scary as it first seems – that is if you are prepared going in. By following this six step home buyer checklist, you can ensure everything goes smoothly as you make that first, most important decision of your life.
Check Your Credit Score
First and foremost, it is crucial to have a good understanding of your credit score in order to determine what type of home you can get pre approved for. The higher your credit score, the more trust banks will have in you when providing a loan. If your credit score is bad, it likely means you will either have to purchase a very affordable home based on your income, or you will need to make a larger down payment.
There are several available websites that allow you to reliably check your credit score. Be sure to choose one that is well trusted and accurate as the results are likely to differ for each site. Subsequently, looking at a poor credit score website can provide a misleading score, and you may be in for a surprise when you go to get pre approved.
If your credit score is bad due to an error that is not your fault, be sure to dispute the claim, which can raise your score if you win.
Get Pre Approved
After checking your credit score, understanding your monthly income and determining how much money you have saved up, it is time to get pre approved. Getting pre approved is simply the loan service telling you how much they are willing to approve – and ultimately trust – you for.
The better your credit score and the more your monthly income is, the more you can spend on a mortgage payment. While a pre approval is not always necessary when purchasing a home, it is starting to become more and more of a necessity, and it is all but required for a home seller to take you seriously.
In other words, a pre approval gives you a good understanding of the loan amount you can expect from a loan service (usually a bank), establishes trust with the one selling the home and gives you a sense of security that the process is going to go smoothly without any hiccups along the way.
Find Your Property
Now the fun begins. It is time to actually find your property. At this point, you should have established your credit score, gotten pre approved for a loan and determined how much you can afford to spend each month on a mortgage payment.
When searching for your dream home there are several important factors to always take into account, including the location you want to live in, how big your family is and whether or not the price for the home is reasonable. If you have children, you will likely want to determine how the school system is in the area and whether or not your children will enjoy their time in their home and neighborhood.
Be sure to compare and view multiple properties and ensure you are getting a fair appraisal on the home you plan to buy. Remember, home buying is a long commitment, and it is important to get it right the first time as selling your home can be difficult if you overpay initially.
Prepare to Purchase
After deciding on which house is absolutely perfect for you and your family, it is time to make the purchase. Be sure to set aside a down payment well in advance in order to have what it takes to make the deal go through. If you feel as if it is the perfect home in the perfect location, then the odds are other home buyers are likely to think the same, which means there is likely to be some competition.
In order to set yourself apart from the competition and ensure the house is sold to you, have your down payment ready, and be proactive in the process(always have your documents ready, communicate efficiently, etc.)
By being prepared to purchase and move in to the home, you give yourself a great chance of overcoming other bidders and getting the home of your dreams for you and your family.
Perhaps the least intriguing part of the process is negotiation, which can be a very difficult experience if you do not know the proper way to negotiate going in. As mentioned earlier, getting the home for the perfect price is essential to ensure you get a return on your investment when attempting to sell the home in the future.
If you have gotten pre approved, saved up for a down payment and provided all of the necessary documents in a timely manner, then you are in a great position to negotiate successfully. Be honest and open throughout the process, making it known how much you feel the house is worth with stats and figures.
Additionally, be sure to discuss any possible renovations the home seller can cover, such as discussing with them where to buy replacement windows, replace the appliances, etc. Negotiating the price properly can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Seal The Deal
Last but not least, seal the deal. Negotiate to the lowest possible point, but be sure not to take it too far. When you feel a deal is fair, pull the trigger.
After which, all that is left to do is enjoy your new home with your family. Moving into a home is meant to be fun and exciting, so make the most of it! Sure, moving and decorating can be a hassle, but try and enjoy every minute of it.
If you have any helpful advice or smart tips for new home buyers, share your experience in the comments below.