According to the National Association of Realtors, 5.64 million existing homes were sold in 2020! This number doesn’t even account for the new builds. As a result of such a large market, the home buying process can be a major undertaking.
Thankfully, with a checklist for buying a home as your guide, you can navigate the housing market with ease. Keep reading to learn the five things to do when buying a home.
1. Set Your Budget
Whether you are a first-time home buyer browsing houses for sale or a seasoned pro at flipping houses. Setting your budget is the first step to purchasing a property.
If you plan to put down 20% as your downpayment the recommendation is to not look for a home that costs no more than three to five times their annual income. Consider your budget when you are deciding how much you can put down as well.
2. Get Pre-Qualified for Your Mortgage
In a seller’s market, properties may remain listed for a few hours before they get offers from potential buyers. Getting pre-qualified or approved for your mortgage can get you one step closer to home ownership and put an added layer of confidence behind your bid when it comes to the home buying process.
Getting prequalified for a mortgage is the easiest method to go about doing that. You only need to give your mortgage banker certain financial information, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have, in order to get pre-qualified.
3. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
When purchasing or selling a house, real estate agents are crucial allies. You can get useful information from real estate brokers about houses and neighborhoods that aren’t readily available to the general public. You should lean on your realtor’s local knowledge, bargaining skills, and industry expertise when investing in real estate.
4. Do Your Research on Homes
Even with a realtor, you should conduct your own independent research on prospective properties. Knowing different housing trends can help you navigate a fast-paced market and pick out properties you really like.
Researching a property can help you get an understanding of opportunities to remodel before you put in an offer. Even homes FSBO should be looked at with a scrutinizing eye before placing a bid. If you are interested in flipping houses, you will want to build out a vision for the remodeling efforts before you invest in the property.
5. Always Opt for an Inspection
Within a few days of the seller accepting your offer, your real estate agent will often assist you in setting up the inspection. If the inspection reveals serious material damage, this contingency safeguards you from buying a home without getting a holistic view of the property.
Typically, buyers make purchase offers that are contingent on a property inspection. During these inspections, specialists will look for indications of structural damage or broken systems. Awareness of these imperfections can help give buyers negotiating power and be prepared to take on the challenges that a property may present.
Use a Checklist for Buying a Home
Buying a home is a major investment. If you use a checklist for buying a home, you can go from building your budget and closing on a prospective property in no time!
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