6 Steps to Buying a House
There are few experiences in life that fill you with a sense of pride and accomplishment like buying a house. Take some time to learn more about the home buying process before you begin the search for your dream home. This is time well spent when you consider that this is likely to be the biggest investment in your life.
Fill Your Savings Account
Most people are unable to pay cash for a house and will need to secure a home mortgage loan. Even with this loan, you will be required to place a down payment that is typically around twenty percent of the home’s selling price. Aside from the down payment, you may be required to pay closing costs. Closing costs are paid out-of-pocket and cover expenses such as attorney fees, inspections, appraisals, and title fees. Estimate that these fees will come in around 2 – 8 percent of the selling price. It’s a good idea to have a nice cushion in your savings account to cover the down payment, closing costs, and any unexpected expenses that crop up during the home buying process.
Check Your Credit Report
A home mortgage loan lender will be looking at your credit report with a critical eye. The last thing you want a lender to find is a delinquent account lurking on your report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is your best friend when it comes to getting copies of your credit report. There are three main reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Once a year, you can request a free copy of your credit report from these agencies. Be sure to visit the official Annual Credit Report website to order these. Look for any negative instances or errors when you get the reports. Take care of those right away.
Find a Professional Real Estate Agent
The internet places a wealth of information at your fingertips, but it’s wise to secure the assistance of a professional real estate agent as you move forward. Their knowledge and experience can save you time and money. If you take everything you know about the real estate market and stack it up against what they know, you’ll quickly see why you need them on your side during the transaction. Your real estate agent will advise you on the proper procedures and be there to negotiate on your behalf. This is their strength! Let them help make your experience less stressful.
Know How Much You Can Afford
Getting a home mortgage loan pre-approval letter is beneficial for several reasons. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect home that is outside of your budget. Getting a pre-approval will allow you to search for homes within a targeted price range because you’ll know for certain how much you can afford. Having a pre-approval letter could turn the tides in your favor is your offer for a house comes up against others who are placing offers. That approval shows a home seller that you are serious about your offer and have the ability to follow through with the sale.
Stay Realistic About Wish Lists
Once you get your pre-approval and know how much house you can afford, you’ll want to begin making a wish list. It’s not unusual to begin this list with lofty ambitions, but keep in mind that you may not get to check off all the boxes on your wish list when it comes to choosing a home. Be realistic about what you’re willing to compromise on and what is non-negotiable. You may need to give up some of the upgrades in order to meet higher priority items. Be sure to give this list to your real estate agent. This will help them pick the right homes for you to view, saving you time and frustration.
Place the Right Offer
Once you’ve found the property that meets your needs, you’ll want to place an offer. Your real estate agent will have valuable information for you on placing the right offer than will catch the attention of the seller. Don’t be surprised if your offer gets some competition. This is common and requires a bit of negotiation. You have an advantage by having a real estate agent with strong negotiation skills and a pre-approval letter. Though it’s tough, try not to become emotionally invested in the home during this part of the process.
Once your offer is accepted, you’ll be on the road to closing day! There will be inspections, an appraisal, and paperwork. On closing day, you’ll walk away with the keys to your dream home.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local area, buying a home, and selling a house. Give Arminé Ghevian a call today at 818-389-4465 to ask questions about the real estate market, discuss selling your house, or to tour available homes for sale in the Los Angeles area.