Steps to Buying a House
1. Meet with a lender and get a pre-approval letter (or go online and fill out a pre-approval application)
a. A pre-approval letter is a letter that is given by a lender stating that you are qualified to receive a loan for up to a certain amount (i.e., up to $150,000)
b. The pre-approval letter will be presented with your purchase offer as evidence to the seller that you are a serious buyer
2. Make a list of what you are looking for
a. Price range
b. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size, garage size, yard space, and any other features that are on your wish list
3. Go house hunting!
a. It really helps to actually go through houses to figure out what it is you really want
b. Even though pictures on the internet can give you a feel for a property, you can never truly appreciate the charm or character (or lack thereof) until you actually see it in person
4. Make an offer
a. It’s a legally binding contract
b. The big points to consider in an offer are the following:
i. Price – The average home in this area goes for 97% of list price
ii. Closing date – When would you like to take possession?
iii. Additional provisions – Are there any specific items to be addressed, that aren’t already stated in the contract?
c. Earnest check
d. The seller will be given a date and time by which a response is to be given (acceptance or counter)
e. If the seller responds with a counter offer, you can either accept or respond with your counter offer – this can continue until an agreement is reached
5. Offer is accepted!
a. Schedule whole house, pest, and radon inspections
i. Typically, a buyer has only 10-14 business days after the offer is accepted to complete inspections (a specific date will be mentioned in the purchase agreement)
b. Once inspections are completed, a remedy request will be prepared and given to the seller
i. Inspections are meant to address major structural, mechanical, and safety items – these are what can be asked for in the remedy request
ii. Remember that if it’s not new construction, it’s not going to be perfect!
a. Appraisal – The home has to appraise at or above purchase price
b. Final loan commitment – The lender will provide a final approval letter for the your mortgage, once all the hoops have been jumped through (i.e., appraisal, underwriting) c. Once financing is approved, the sale is officially pending
8. Closing/move-in day!
a. Closing will be on the day specified on the purchase agreement
b. Get your hand ready for a lot of signing!
c. You will receive keys/garage door openers and officially become a homeowner!
If you should need additional information or clarification on the home buying process, please contact us and we will answer any questions you may have.