10 Steps to Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home can and should be a fun, exciting experience. It will probably also be the single largest investment you ever make. For this reason, it is important to be involved and informed. Use the series of steps below to make your home buying experience smooth and enjoyable:
1. Select a realtor. Most realtors belong to the multiple listing service, which means that one person can show you nearly any home with a real estate sign in front. Working with one person that fits your personality and listens to your home needs will assure positive results.
2. Determine a realistic price range. Your mortgage lender can determine in a matter of minutes how much of a loan you can pre-qualify for, depending upon your income and debts. With these numbers in hand, you can begin looking at homes.
3. View a variety of homes and neighborhoods. Don't be discouraged if you don't find the right home the first day. Also remember that love at first sight can apply to homes, too.
4. Select the home for you and make an offer to the seller on an earnest money contract. Your Realtor will prepare the contract and review it with you. When both parties have agreed to all terms in writing, you are ready to begin the loan process.
5. Apply for your mortgage loan, after comparing rates offered by several banks, mortgage lenders and brokers. The lender should guide you through each step of the process.
6. Arrange for a home inspection by a Licensed Real Estate Inspector. Have a licensed pest inspector check the home for termites. Both should provide written reports upon inspection completion.
7. Consider a home warranty plan. Home warranty companies will, upon failure of eligible systems and components of your home, provide for repair or replacement. These plans are effective for one year from the closing date. They can be part of the contract negotiations (to be purchased by either the buyer or the seller).
8. Close on or before the date set forth in the earnest money contract. Your Realtor should be present to provide help if needed.
9. Plan your move well ahead of time. Contact utility companies in advance, and if you are currently renting, give your landlord at least 30 days notice before vacating.
10. Enjoy your new home. Home ownership is the American dream. By planning ahead, getting involved and staying informed, you can start building on that dream today.Sources for these stories include: Coldwellbanker.com, Moving.com, Federal Citizen Information Center Home Page, Realtor.com, Homestore.com, homebuilder.com, forsalebyowner.com, San Diego Association of Realtors, Monstermoving.com, Interest.com, Century21.com and Amsouth.com.