There are basically 9 steps to buying a home. I will walk you through the process which can take a few days to a few months and that depends on when YOU are confident and ready to make an offer on a home of your liking. I recommend studying the market in North Jersey, getting market stats for each town you are interested in , reviewing Altos Research Charts, take a trip out and ride the bus or train to work, visit the local schools. I have a detailed step by step process which I will comfortable walk you through. The process is different for every client, call today for a buyer’s interview and lets get started.
The Buying Process- Step By Step
Work Out What You Can Afford
It helps when you start looking if you have a good idea of what you can afford. What you believe you can afford is not always what your mortgage lender will think is affordable. The most you can usually borrow will have to do with your repayment costs. Repayments should be no more than 29% of your gross income. Your total expenses which, is the cost of your housing combined with any other long term debt commitments should not exceed 41% of your income. Don’t worry if your mathematic skills are not good, any mortgage broker will work this out for you.
Request a Buyer’s Relocation Guide/ Buyer’s Local Tour
When you have a rough idea what you can afford then you should have an agent to locate properties for you. You should speak with them about what sort of home you are looking for. A good agent will be a wealth of knowledge about the areas you are considering. They can tell you about schools and the areas facilities in general. What sort of community you want to live in, is something you should really think about. Do you want the agent to locate you places to view in areas with predominantly elderly people or would you be better somewhere young families are the norm.
View Lots of Properties
There will often be many properties that are within your budget and will suit the minimum requirements you have outlined to your agent. It’s important not to rush in to any decision and even if you think you’ve found what you want you should still check more out. Speak to neighbors that already live in the area to find out if there is anything you should know before moving in. On average people view around fifteen properties in the buying a house process.
Have a Home Inspector to Give You a Report on the Property’s Condition
A good home inspection can be an invaluable source of information when you are buying a home. They will tell you if the property needs any repairs structurally, mechanically and if the building work was done correctly. They will be able to give you a list of repairs that need to be done and a rough estimate for the costs of those repairs. You should always get a report before making an offer as you can negotiate during the offer process for any work that needs doing.
If you don’t have the inspection prior to the offer being entered you should include a clause that states the offer is pending the results of the report. That way you can possibly withdraw from the house purchase if there are things that aren’t to your liking after an inspection.
Be careful when selecting your finance provider as many people have been victims of loan fraud. There are now government agencies everywhere that have been set up to provide pre-sale counseling to homebuyers. The people at HUD will have a list of these nonprofit organizations near you. There are homeownership education courses that will really help you make the right decisions.
Get a Lawyer to Review the Contract of Sale
You should have someone review your paperwork when you want to buy a home. In some states it is the law that you use a lawyer or other real estate professional to see things through. Your agent should be able to recommend someone if you can’t get suggestions from friends or family. Make sure you ask if they are suitably experienced. A lawyer will be able to tell you if there are any special considerations in paperwork that can be quite complex.
Make an Offer
When you are making an offer, there are certain things that will need to be included. Your agent and/or lawyer will be able to help you with things like the complete legal description of what the offer is for. With an offer you are usually expected to put down some money in earnest to demonstrate your commitment. The money you put in earnest will tend to come off your closing or down payment costs. Your offer will also include your financing arrangement and when you expect to move in.
Arrange your Home Owners Insurance Policy
A home owners insurance policy is often required during the buying a house process especially if you have smaller than 20% down payment. You will have to present a policy or proof of purchase of a policy when closing the sale.
Close the Sale
The closing day is all about balancing up what you owe the seller and what the seller owes you for stuff like unpaid bills. Once all is agreed, you will sign all the documentation for your mortgage on the property and your details added to the state Registry of Deeds. You will get your lending contract, a settlement statement, the house keys and a sales contract that should be reviewed by your lawyer. At this point the buying a house process will have ended and you will now be a homeowner. As a real estate broker for over 15 years, it’s my job to take the mystery out of buying a home.