What You Need to Know
If you’re considering buying your first home, you may have a simple question: how to buy a house. It’s a big step, and worth taking the time to plan. The National Association of Realtors provides a handout on How to Prepare to Buy a Home. So what do you need to know to buy a house, and where should you get started?
Choose a Mortgage Broker
One of the first steps you should take when planning to buy a house is to start talking to mortgage brokers. Many people don’t start this process early enough when they start house hunting, but it’s to your advantage to get prequalified. This gives you more bargaining power and the ability to move faster when you find the perfect home. Ask around, learn your options, and find the best mortgage broker for you.
Choose a Realtor
A critical step in the process of buying your first house is finding the realtor who is right for you. Your realtor will be your partner in finding and negotiating for the right home for you. Whether buying or selling, your realtor’s expertise and connections will be an advantage for you. Choose a realtor you trust to guide you through the process.
It may be tempting to skip this step, thinking to save money, but this strategy may backfire. Your realtor is your negotiating partner to help you get the best possible deal. Your realtor’s knowledge and experience, as well as local connections, will make the process of buying a home go much smoother than it otherwise might.
With a realtor on your team, you will have better, faster access to available listings, as well as a partner to help narrow possibilities down. Your realtor will be your guide, representative, and negotiator. Together, you will prepare to place an offer on your dream home.
Make a Plan
Your realtor and mortgage broker can help you set a budget and develop a wish list. Remember to take maintenance costs as you plan ahead; even new homes will require upkeep. When determining your price range, be sure to set aside an amount for any remodeling or repairs you may need to make. Consider what neighborhood or neighborhoods you would prefer to live in, and how long you are likely to stay there. Check out the local schools and community spaces, and learn about any expansion plans. Include details you desire from your neighborhood in your wish list, along with what features you want in your dream home, and then prioritize this list.
Remember that you are unlikely to be the only possible buyer for a house. Be prepared to make a good offer quickly, or you may miss your chance. That doesn’t mean you need to take risks, however. Review our checklist for viewing a house so you can be prepared to make an informed decision.
Ready to Get Started?
Contact us today to start the search for your new home.