The journey to homeownership can be stressful, unpredictable, and discouraging. This article explains how to buy a house so you can plan accordingly and make the process easier.
Follow These Steps for How to Buy a House
1. Finding a Real-Estate or Buyer’s Agent
Successfully purchasing a home takes a team effort. Select a real estate agent who has a good reputation to help you through the process. Real estate professionals have a wealth of knowledge about the area they work in. He or she will line up homes for you to tour based on your wants and needs list, sometimes before they are even publicly listed.
2. Determine Your Wants and Needs
When you buy a house, you will likely live there for many years. Figure out what details you want in a house and what you need in a house. Do you have children? Do you have pets? Do you have a large family that likes to visit? These are some questions to take into consideration when buying a house. Make a list of features you absolutely need, and those you would prefer but are negotiable.
3. How to Buy a House With a Budget
Now that you’ve chosen your real estate agent and you have figured out exactly what you want and need, determine what you can afford. You don’t want to get in over your head with your mortgage, insurance, bills, and all the other expenses that come with homeownership.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know what you can afford before you begin shopping. Keep in mind that you don’t need to accept the full amount of the loan.
4. Start Planning for Your Monthly Mortgage Payment
Financial responsibility is an important aspect of buying a home. An ideal mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, should be no more than one-third of your income. Although a financial institution may pre-approve you for a higher amount, decide what you are able to handle.
Consider other financial responsibilities like utilities, car insurance, health insurance, childcare, and allow some room for other unexpected expenses.
5. Make an Offer for What the House is Worth
Determining how much a house is worth can be tricky. Your real estate agent will help you present a reasonable offer. When buying a house, there may be some negotiating that takes place. Follow the lead of your real estate agent when making an offer and during negotiations.
6. How to Buy a House Patiently
Don’t act on impulse. If you find a house that you believe is perfect, do not pay more than what the house is actually worth. Remember there will be more houses to choose from. Selecting a home can be a long and tedious process, but this is why you have an agent. If your first choice falls through, know that new homes are always being listed and you’ll find the right fit for your family.
7. Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy
Home inspections are an important part of the homebuying process. Once you buy a house, any issues become your responsibility. Your agent can give you recommendations for reliable home inspectors. The home inspection report will detail the condition of all the visible and accessible components of the house, including any problems or concerns. This is a critical step that helps determine what happens next. Never forego a home inspection.