As you can guess this blog post is about buying a home. I'm no expert to say the least, but I figured I would share with you the ups and downs MK(boy friend) and I went through buying our home.
CLASSES- take a First Time Home Buyers class . Not only are their perks depending on what type of loan you get with having taken a class, it is full of really useful information. I took a class that was ran by a non profit organization in the city I was living. It was very affordable 2 times a week for about 4 weeks. The class was full of people who were looking for different options, city life, suburban life, one family homes, two family homes and condos. At the time when I took the class I had no idea what I was looking to purchase but hearing all the options everyone else was looking into really helped. They had speakers come in and speak. One day it was a bank mortgage broker then a real estate attorney, a home inspector and a realtor. It was great getting to pick their brains on the ins and outs of purchasing a home. The class also taught us ways to help save money, helped us look up our credit scores and helped us weigh the pros and cons of owning your own home. Being in a class was also helpful in the sense that everyone asks questions. Someone would ask a question that you didn't even think to ask and would in the long run help you with your home buying experience. So the number one suggestion is TAKE A CLASS!
RESEARCH-Now its time to research. Determine the type of home you are interested in purchasing and what location you are thinking. This was somewhat a challenge for us. We had no idea what we were looking for at first but we were looking around to see what was on the market. We looked for homes we though we could afford. We also looked for what we wanted in a home number of bedrooms, driveway, number of bathrooms and so on. Once we had an idea we were on our way.
GET PREQUALIFIED-Now is when things start getting serious. Find a bank, get referrals from friends/family or use the bank that spoke at your First Time Home Buyers class. The bank is going to ask you for paper work to get the ball rolling as far as which loan options you are interested in
and will give you a ball park range in terms of price range of homes you can afford. The bank will pretty much want every document possible from you. Don't be surprised if they ask for a blood a sample (i'm kidding or am I?) Just be prepared to fork up all the paper work and then some.
AGENT-Now its time to find a Real Estate Agent. You can use one that your friends/family recommend or one that spoke at your First Time Home Buyers class. We weren't as lucky in this department. We went through about 4 realtors, not because we wanted to believe me. We just have a thing about getting what we ask for. Agents can sometimes be one sided and want to make a sale, so make sure they have your best interest in mind. Make sure they are showing you homes with amenities that you asked for and that is in your price range. Remember it's your home not theirs.
SHOP AROUND/MAKE OFFER-So we looked at many houses in the course of time we were looking (2 years). Some we fell in love with and put an offer on and things fell though. Don't let that put a sour taste in your mouth. IT TAKES TIME! I't doesn't help when you fall in love with a home on paper and then go take a look at it and its a dump!
Just keep looking, once you find a house that has potential or even your ideal home make an offer. You can offer asking price, more then asking or even have an all out bidding war with someone else who is interested in the same home. In our situation we offered more then asking since we really wanted the house. Once the seller accepts your offer you are ready to rock and roll.
HOME INSPECTION-Get the property inspected. Believe me you do not want to buy the home and end up with loads of issues. Hire a home inspector and have them do a complete walk through of the property. If you do find issues that will cost a lot to repair, maybe that will change your mind about the house or it will help you with your offer on the house. Taking into account that you would need to have these repairs done will help drop the asking price.
OFFER ACCEPTED-Once the offer is accepted its now a waiting game. Depending on the terms of your Purchase and Sale Agreement you could be waiting for 30 days or more. In our situation we waited 90 days. In this time your bank is making sure everything is in order in terms of documents, bank account statement ,and proof of funds. They have to make sure everything is ready to go for closing day.
FINAL WALK THROUGH-Now that you have waited and things are good to go. You have to go back to the property and make sure it is still the way it was when you made an offer. I waited till the day before closing to do my final walk through. I wanted to make sure everyone was moved out,all the trash was gone and that everything in the home was still working.
CLOSING DAY-Bitter sweet all this headache and running around is coming to an end. Get you fingers stretched out and ready to get cramped up with all the documents you are going to sign. Make sure you have read over the documents and understand what you are signing. Now that it's complete and you have signed your life away, you are now a HOME OWNER!
And your real journey is just beginning!
What are some helpful tips that worked for you??