Buying a home, in theory, seems easy to do. For those who have never actually gone through the process, it would seem that all you have to do is get approved for a mortgage, hire a real estate agent, view properties, choose the one you want and sign on the dotted line. The truth is, there is a lot more to it. Although exciting, the process of buying a house can be emotional, confusing, and downright stressful. To make the process easier to manage, there are a plethora of tools, resources, and services you can rely on.
Real Estate Agents
No one understands the real estate market like a local real estate agent. They severe as your guide throughout the entire process. From helping you to find homes that suit your financial and personal needs to scheduling viewings, negotiating offers, and even completing the closing process, it is best to have their experience and knowledge on hand your first time around.
Real Estate Sites
There are millions of properties for sale across the country. Even if you know which city or state you want to reside in, there are tons of properties to sift through. Driving around the area all day looking for sale signs is time-consuming, to say the least. Real estate sites are instrumental tools in helping you to narrow down your options. With advanced search features, buyers can sort through thousands of properties in the area based on things like cost, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, type of home (single-family, condo, townhouse, etc), crime rates, property taxes, and more. Although you should never purchase a home without physically going to see it, these sites can condense your search time immensely.
There is a lot of math involved in buying a home. Buyers must determine how much of a home they can afford, how much borrowing they could get approved for by a lender, how much they’ll need for a down payment, and more. This is where online financial calculators come in. They have a mortgage calculator to let you know how much you could be approved for, how much closing will cost, as well as down payment. All you have to do is key in factors like your current income, debt, credit score, and other financial stats. Numbers are automatically calculated for you to give you a better idea of how much the entire home buying process will cost.
Why in the world would you need an attorney to purchase a home? Well, because the contract you sign with the previous owner and again with the mortgage company are legal documents. The terminology included in these documents can be difficult to understand. An attorney is there to not only make sure you comprehend what you’re signing but that what you’re signing is in your best interest.
Credit Report Sites
One of the main factors used to determine whether or not you can get approved for a mortgage is your credit history. Lenders want to see how well you have managed money in the past and will pull your credit report to make an assessment. Credit report sites are, therefore, beneficial to buyers. You can pull your report in advance to see what lenders will find. With accounts that allow you to view all three reports and scores from major bureaus, you can review the findings and make necessary changes before trying to apply for a home loan.
Real Estate Glossaries
Though you’ll have the help of a real estate agent and an attorney, it is imperative that you have some knowledge of the home buying process. As the terminology can often be confusing, online real estate glossaries are useful for deciphering what’s going on. Now when talking with your realtor or attorney, you’re not completely in the dark.
A property can look great – to the untrained eye. Many first-time home buyers make the mistake of purchasing a property without knowing what they’re investing in. Home inspections are essential to getting a full picture of the current state of a property. A home inspector will conduct a search of the entire property, making sure to look at the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, and structural components of the house to determine if it is safe to move into. An inspection gives you a clear picture before signing on the dotted line so that you can make a more informed decision on whether the house is worth investing in.
Finding your dream home won’t happen overnight. It also isn’t a simple process. Before jumping into it alone and learning a lot of costly lessons, it is best to tap into the assistance you have. Above is a simple list of resources, tools, and service providers you can turn to. They all work together to ensure that you’re making a sound decision and investing in a property that is not only nice to look at but affordable and safe as well.