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6 Steps to Home Buying

  • Get Ready for Home Ownership
    • Build a good credit history.
    • Get Mortgage pre-approval.
    • Find out what type of mortgages you qualify for
    • Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home-buying process.
    • Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less).
      • Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees.
      • Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowners assessments.
    • Find a Real Estate Professional
      • Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements.
      • Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms.
      • Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with.
    • Find the Right Property
      • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
      • Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payments.
    • Finance the Right Property
      • Contact your mortgage broker or lender.
      • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title.
      • Make sure you understand the financing terms – ask the lender for clarification, if needed.
    • Make an Offer
      • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector.
      • Acquire title insurance.
      • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance.
      • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions.
      • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer.
      • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing.
      • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted.
    • Closing and Life After the Big Purchase
      • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire.
      • Weatherproof your new home.
      • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
      • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box).
      • Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files – Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring.
      • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends.
      • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood.

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