Buying a home is exciting! It also may seem daunting at first, but breaking up the home-buying process into manageable steps helps!
Step 1: Browse Properties Online
Look online to browse areas in Longmont that you like, and note the properties that catch your eye. You can gather plenty of information online and might even be able to see a virtual tour. Check how long the property has been on the market and notice general prices for homes in each area.
Step 2: Determine What You Can Afford
Use an online mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford. In general, lenders recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income. This amount assumes the home buyers have a 20% down payment and a moderate amount of other debt.
Step 3: Get Prequalified
Getting prequalified allows you to know how much a lender will give you for a home. This info allows you to look for homes in your budget. Plus, a preapproval for credit takes prequalification one step further because the lender verifies your financial documents in advance (W2s, paystubs, bank statements, tax documents, etc.).
Step 4: Find a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are valuable resources—they’re full of knowledge, know the area well, have superior negotiating skills and can answer all of your questions. Plus they don’t cost you anything! Your real estate agent is compensated by the commission from the seller of the house.
Step 5: Find a Home and Make an Offer
Start looking at homes and find one that you like. Work with your real estate agent to negotiate an offer. Once you and the seller have reached an agreement on price, the house goes into escrow. Escrow is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process (home inspection, loan, appraisal).
Step 6: Get a Home Inspection
You’ll arrange a home inspection to look for potential home issues so you’re not surprised after purchasing. Don’t worry, your real estate agent has home inspector recommendations. Most home purchases are contingent on the home inspection so that buyers can renegotiate or back out if there are any major issues. Both you and the seller get a copy of the home inspection report. As the buyer, you can ask the seller to fix items that the home inspector found.
Step 7: Get a Loan
Work with a mortgage lender to determine the best loan for your needs. Speak up with any questions to ensure you’re getting a loan that works for your situation. There are a number of available home loans!
Step 8: Home Appraisal
Lenders require a home appraisal as part of the buying process to ensure that you’re paying a fair price for the property. The home appraisal is arranged by the lender but isn’t affiliated with the lender.
Step 9: Close on Your Home
Your lender arranges a title company to prepare all the closing paperwork. You’ll sign the closing paperwork including the loan documents. Once the closing is complete and the home loan is funded, it’s time to move. Congratulations!
If you have questions about buying a home in Longmont or the home-buying process, Turner Realty can help!