Home Buying

What exactly is involved in the home buying process? What are the steps you need to know before undertaking a venture this large and life changing? Here are a few suggestions from HomeFunded.com to help guide you in the right direction.

First things first, you need to sit down and figure how much you can afford to pay per month for a mortgage. Make a budget of what your monthly income is and subtract what your monthly expenses are. You can then figure out how much money is available for a mortgage payment.

Next you need to be pre-approved for the loan. Pre-approved is different from pre-qualified. Pre-qualified means the lender has all your financial information and has estimated what you’ll be able to afford. Pre-approved means the lender has checked your credit report, ran a debt-to-income ratio and has given you a pre-approval letter.

Then find yourself a trusted real estate agent or Realtor. Check online or ask friends and family members who have recently purchased a home for a referral and/or advice. When you find an agent, check out the agent’s reputation online, experience and what methods the realtor uses. Ask how much training the realtor has.

You can even go a step further and hire a dedicated buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent is an agent who solely represents the home buyer. If your agent signs a contract with you, the buyer, stipulating that the agent will get the best price, make sure the property to be bought will be inspected and they will thoroughly represent your best interests; that agent then becomes a buyer’s agent.

Now go look at houses! Your agent will make up a list of prospective houses from the requirements you have provided them. If you find any houses which appeal to you, take a look at them and take some pictures, if permitted. Use the MLS listing sheet, the informational overview, on the house that your agent should provide you with to make notes. This way you’ll remember which ones you liked best.

When you find a house you like, your agent will make an offer on your behalf. You’ll be asked to put down an escrow deposit so the seller knows you’re serious. One point though, if you back out of the deal, your escrow deposit may be forfeited. A good Realtor knows how to handle that situation if it occurs.

When the offer is accepted, you execute the purchase agreement papers, and then the house is under contract! Now it is time for your loan officer to take it from here while your agent schedules your inspections and closing date. After your financing/loan process is completed and approved you are well on your way to home ownership.

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