Well before you are handed the keys to your new home, there are a few important steps that you will need to take. With a little bit of patience and diligence, you should be able to find and buy the home of your dreams at a fair price.
The very first step in the home buying process is carrying out a little bit of research on your own. You will need to carefully consider the location where you would like to buy, your price range, and your general requirements. Some of the requirements you might want to think about include the size of the home, how many bedrooms you need, and the types of features you want to have. Once you have that information, it will be much easier to narrow down your search.
Meet With a Real Estate Agent
The next step in the process is meeting with a real estate agent who has experience dealing with residential properties. Some realtors primarily work with commercial properties, so they might not have experience with smaller homes and condos and will likely be unable to help you. A local realtor should be able to look over all of your needs and then come up with a list of potential properties. Some realtors also have pocket listings that are filled with motivated sellers who want to get rid of their homes as quickly as possible.
Tour Your Top Choices
After you have gotten a handful of residential properties to look at, you will need to begin scheduling tours. Those tours are going to be especially important because they will give you a chance to look over the nuances of each individual residence. Getting the feel for a home through pictures can be very difficult, and that is why you want to look at each potential residence with your own eyes.
Carry Out an Inspection
Once you have found a home that you think you are ready to make an offer on, you must have a professional inspection carried out. This will tell you if there are any underlying issues that might not be immediately visible. For example, there might be some structural damage or a pest problem. While these aren’t necessarily dealbreakers, the inspector’s report can help you decide if the price is fair. Inspections should always be done by third-party inspection companies that aren’t attached to the real estate agents or sellers.
In addition to these few steps, you might also want to spend a little bit of time figuring out all of the ongoing costs that you will need to cover in the coming years. That includes your monthly mortgage payments, home insurance, property taxes, and an emergency fund for maintenance.