A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying a Home
Buying a home is an exciting experience! It's fun to shop for different homes, explore incredible neighborhoods, and start to customize your new space. I want you to have as much fun as possible when buying your new home in the Triangle. Just follow these 10 steps, and you will be settled into your dream home before you know it.
Step 1: Learn What You Can Afford
Before you start searching for homes, look at your budget and determine how much you can pay each month for your mortgage and additional costs. Don't forget to factor in your initial down payment and closing costs, as well as recurring expenses like homeowners insurance, taxes, and private mortgage insurance (if you plan to put less than 20% down on your home).
My mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.
Step 2: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Want to learn exactly how much you can afford and make your offer on a home stand out? Get pre-approved for a loan! Find a trustworthy mortgage lender to examine your finances and help you determine which loan is right for you. Make sure you interview at least three lenders before you make a decision. I can always recommend a trusted lender in the Triangle; just give me a call at 919-422-3794.
Step 3: Research the Triangle Housing Market
Do you know the value of homes in your favorite neighborhoods? If you have your heart set on a specific community or location, you need to know if you can afford a home with the features or square footage you want. I can send you a neighborhood sold report to help you with this step!
Step 4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent
It's important to choose an agent who is experienced, who knows the area, and who you enjoy working with. When you're researching real estate agents, make sure you ask about their client reviews and experience in your favorite neighborhoods. I have been licensed since 2000. I know the ins and outs of the Triangle area, and I enjoy helping my clients find not just a house, but their dream home.
Step 5: Start Searching for Homes!
This is one of the best parts about buying a home. During the home search, you can visit open houses, tour homes, take pictures, and discover your dream home. Make sure you keep detailed notes about the homes you visit, including what you liked and didn't like. Taking pictures of homes you visit is a great idea.
Step 6: Make an Offer on a Home
When you find your ideal home, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You’ll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but is also fair to the home seller. Remember, you'll likely be competing with several other buyers for the same property.
Step 7: Get an Inspection
After you've made an offer, have a professional home inspector take a look at the home you're planning to buy. Everything may look great from your perspective, but a professional can find out if there's something wrong with the plumbing, foundation, or electrical wiring. Ask your REALTOR® to recommend a trusted home inspector. If necessary, you can talk with your agent and request that the seller make the repairs.
Step 8: Review Your Contract
Before you sign any paperwork, it’s important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer. Make sure you understand everything on the contract, and make sure there are contingencies in place — for instance, if something falls through with your mortgage, then you aren’t still obligated to buy the home.
Step 9: Finalize Your Mortgage Approval
Work with your lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.
Step 10: Welcome to Your New Home!
The final step in the home buying process is closing. At this time, you'll meet with your agent, lender, and the home seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Then you'll get the keys to your new home!
Ready to Find Your Dream Home?
If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Triangle, I can help you find your dream home and get through the home buying process as quickly and easily as possible. Call me at 919-422-3794 and we can get started.