Buying a house can be one of the most significant purchases in your life. With so much at stake, it is important that you make sure to prepare yourself before you take the plunge. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or are an experienced buyer, the process can seem daunting. With a little groundwork, however, you can streamline the homebuying process and increase your chances of scoring the home of your dreams.
In addition to making sure you are financially ready, it is also important to understand the emotional commitment involved in owning a home. Many people find that the process is more emotionally taxing than they initially imagined. As such, it is a good idea to discuss the steps of the homebuying process with your Realtor and to consider working with a counselor or therapist as well.
Once you have saved enough for a down payment and been pre-approved by a mortgage lender, it is time to start house hunting. Be sure to bring your Realtor with you on all home visits, and be prepared to compromise a bit on some of the features you may have originally had in mind. It is also a good idea to research the neighborhood, including crime statistics, schools, and traffic conditions.
If you decide to make an offer on a property, be prepared to provide your earnest money upfront, and to sign mountains of paperwork. If you change your mind, it is possible to rescind the offer, and any earnest money you have paid will be returned to the seller.
Before closing, it is a good idea to hire a professional home inspector to inspect the property and ensure that everything is in good condition. If issues are found, this is the time to deal with them so that they do not become a problem after you move in.
Before you close, be sure to review the HUD Settlement Statement with your real estate agent and loan officer. This will tell you what is included in the sale and what you will need to pay separately for things like attorney’s fees, title insurance, inspections, and miscellaneous closing costs.