Home ownership has long been part of the American Dream and one of the best investments that most people will make in their lifetime. Whether you are new to the home buying process or someone who has bought and sold many times before, the road to home ownership requires planning and attention to detail. The following 10 steps to owning a home will give you a guided path that will help make your new home purchase go smoothly.
1. Understand Your Budget – Before you delve into all of the listings of beautiful homes that could be yours, it is important to start with a realistic look at your finances, so that you understand how large of a down payment you can make and what type of monthly payments you can afford.
2. Get a Realtor – Your Realtor will be the best source of information on the current housing market in your area, as well as real estate laws, negotiation techniques, and the different trades and companies who you will need to work with before the home becomes your very own.
3. Loan Pre-Approval – Speaking with a mortgage broker or your banks loan officer will help you understand your pre-approval limits, financing range, and probable interest rates. This is just the first step of the mortgage process, but these numbers combined with the budget numbers from the beginning will give you a solid idea of what home prices you can work within as you search for your new home.
4. Home Search – Now that you have the necessary numbers, it’s time to go take a look at the homes in your price range. Research the neighborhoods and school systems, as well as the proximity to important places like work and shopping. This is where your Realtor will really prove their value and help make sure that you find a home that meets all of your needs.
5. Full Loan Approval – After you have been pre-approved and found a mortgage broker who you would like to work on your loan, it is vital to gather all of the important paperwork and submit the loan application. Once your application has gone through underwriting and you have received full approval for getting a loan, you will be able to lock your interest rate and assure the home seller that your offer to purchase can be financed.
6. Make an Offer – When you have found that perfect home in your price range, you are ready to make an offer to purchase and put a home under contract. Here again your Realtor will be tremendously helpful as they make sure that proper wording is put into the purchase offer to allow for inspections and possible repairs, and guide you through the negotiation process until you reach the price and conditions that satisfies both buyer and seller.
7. Home Inspection – Inspecting your future home is essential so that you are assured there will be no expensive repairs that are required shortly after purchasing the home. If repairs are needed to the roof or homes mechanical systems, the well written offer mentioned above will help define whether the price is reduced or the seller completes the repairs before closing.
8. Insurance – Home owners insurance and title insurance are important parts of the buying process. If you do not know of a local company to work with, your Realtor will have a few recommendations. Aside from being required by the mortgage company, insuring your home and making sure it has a clean title will help prevent any future troubles with the property and your legal ownership.
9. Solve Last Minute Problems – As smooth as we would like the home buying process to be, there are many people involved in each step of the purchase, which means that some problems will arise. For example, mortgage underwriters will need some last minute paperwork, or the inspection will reveal a major repair that requires further price negotiation. Problems and hiccups are the normal. This is again where your Realtors knowledge and expertise will help guide you over the last few hurdles.
10. Closing – Finally you have reached the end of the process, signed the ownership papers, and received the keys to your new home. All the hard work and planning has paid off and now you are the proud owner of your very own home. It’s time to unpack and celebrate.
These are the 10 steps to home ownership that every buyer will need to go through before having the keys of their new home handed to them. By working with knowledgeable professionals and following a solid plan, home ownership can be right around the corner for you.
Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit http://www.prestonguyton.com