Home Buying Guide for First-Time Buyers

Buying a home can sometimes feel like an intimidating and overwhelming task, especially if it’s your first time. It’s understandable – purchasing a property is a huge decision, so you want to make sure everything goes according to plan.

Buying a new home is easy when you’re prepared. By gathering information about the home buying process, you’ll know what to expect, allowing you to make the best decisions and an effective strategy that will lead you to your dream home.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the steps involved with buying a home:

Your decision to buy

A property is a great investment. It can lead you to long-term wealth by providing you with several financial advantages such as tax benefits, appreciation potential, and equity buildup.

However, it comes with many potential risks as well, so make sure you’re financially capable before you start your search.

Look for an experienced and trustworthy realtor

Once you’ve made the decision to buy, your next step is to find a real estate professional that can help you. Having a great realtor at your side is a surefire way to make the entire process easier.

A realtor will be keep you updated on the local market, give you a selection of homes that fit your criteria, help you with offers, give you an advantage during negotiations, and more.

Mortgage preapproval

Getting a mortgage preapproval from a lender before you start your search will give you a tremendous advantage. It will help save you time, as you’ll know what type of homes will fit your price range.

It also gives you an edge over competing buyers – having a mortgage preapproval letter is evidence that you’re already qualified for purchase.

Selecting the ideal home

Once you’re preapproved, you can start looking for the perfect home for you and your family. To make your search easier, list down certain characteristics such as house size and lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, features, condition, access to amenities, proximity to schools, and so on. This list will serve as your guide as you look through available listings.

Make an offer

Found the right home? Now it’s time to make an offer. Your realtor will play a huge role during this part of the process, as he or she will be responsible for looking at similar properties in order for you to make the best, most informed decision.

Home inspections

After you and the seller have agreed to the terms and conditions of the purchase, you’ll need to get an inspection, which should be conducted by a professional home inspector. The inspector will be in charge of revealing any issues regarding the property’s structure, exterior, roof, and major systems, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Closing

The closing is the final phase of the buying process. Before closing however, buyers will usually get a final opportunity to look closer at the property, to ensure that it is unchanged after the agreement was signed.

Closing procedures vary from state to state, but the following parties that are typically present during the closing meeting include:

  • You, the buyer
  • The home seller
  • Closing agent
  • Attorney
  • Title company representative
  • The seller’s real estate agent
  • The lender

The closing agent will be in charge of making sure all documents required are signed and recorded, and all escrow payments and closing fees are settled and distributed fairly.