So you’ve decided you want to buy your first home, but have no clue where to start. You’ve come to the right place!
Proper planning to buy a home takes time, whether it’s your first home or your 10th . Ideally you will give yourself about 3 months to prepare to buy your home.
Fun fact: depending on the date that you close on your new home, you typically skip one month before your first mortgage is due, this can allow for an easy transition when moving from one place to another.
Step One: When you decide you want to buy a home, you need to talk to a lender before you can get very far. Don’t know one? Talk with your Realtor. Your Realtor is closely linked to many lenders whom he or she has worked with, and trusts to do a good job for their clients. The lender is vital to a successful transaction. Not only does a lender make it possible for you to buy your first home, it’s also their job to explain to you different loan programs, down payment assistance programs, current interest rates, and how all of these factors can work for or against you when buying a home. This is a big purchase and needs to be viewed from a financial standpoint at the forefront. This process sounds daunting, but realistically can be done in a few days to a week if you are able to provide the lender with the necessary documents they need. At the end of this, they will hand you a pre-approval letter.
Step Two: You have your pre-approval letter, yay! Now give a copy of it to your Realtor, they will need this down the road when they submit an offer for you. Ok, now you’re ready to start looking at homes. This step of the home buying process can take two days, two months, and anything in between. What is most important during the time that you’re home searching is that you take your time, this is a big decision and you need to be confident in it. However, once you know you’ve found the right one, don’t sit on it. Depending on your current market conditions, which your Realtor should share with you, homes could be selling quickly and you don’t want to let someone else get it before you do.
Step Three: You found the one! Now it’s time to submit your offer. This is one of the HUGE benefits of using a Realtor to buy your home. When it comes time to submit an offer they will discuss terms and price with you, explaining what is fair and giving you data to back that up. They handle all of the paperwork and communication with the listing agent. They represent and fight for you. Sometimes an offer will require no negotiating (rare) and other times negotiations can last 2 days (also rare). A lot is factored into negotiation time, but typically 6-8 hours can be spent negotiating a deal between the buyer and seller.
Step Four: You agreed on an offer. Congratulations, the home yours, pending your purchase. This is where your lender comes back into the picture. Your realtor will provide them with the necessary paperwork they need to begin processing your loan. Ideally, this step will be a close triangle of communication between the lender, buyer & Realtor, making sure everyone is on the same page. During this time you will also have your home inspections and your appraisal done. Don’t freak out, these steps of the process will be discussed with you and handled by your Realtor (another big bonus of using one). Step four is typically the bulk of the home buying process and typically takes 30-50 days depending on the season, loan type, terms agreed on by buyer and seller etc.
This is just a brief overview, meant to give some insight into how home buying works. Although it may seem daunting to read about, but if you surround yourself with the right people this is fun and exciting time!
Have more questions? Send me a message, I’d love to talk with you!