Step 1: Decide to Buy
The decision to purchase your first home is one of the biggest and best choices you could ever make. After all, a home is the largest - and most emotional - investment most people will face in their lifetime. So, how do you know if it's the right time for you to buy?
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. The key is finding the right buy and taking the time to carefully evaluate your finances.
A home purchase is an important step that can provide many advantages. Purchasing your own home is a great investment that can deliver several financial benefits - equity build up, value appreciation, automatic savings plan - not to mention a new sense of pride!
Start looking at your options today. You don't have to know everything. Nations Home Group is ready to help you through every step of the process.
Step 2: Hire Nations Home Group
When you're looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help you make your dream come true.
A great real estate agent will:
- Educate you about the current conditions of the market.
- Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home.
- Co-ordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process.
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria and budget.
- Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.
- Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.
- Inform and discuss with you, and suggest solutions to solve any problems that may arise.
Step 3: Secure Financing
To make the financing process as painless as possible, ask your agent to introduce you to the preferred financing consultant. This professional will work with you and your agent to make sure the financial aspect of your home purchase is stress free.
What will the consultant do for you?
- Review your current financials.
- Discuss the options available to you during the home purchasing process.
- Guide you to an appropriate price point.
- Negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal - price, interest rates, loan approval.
- Keep you informed and updated of the entire financial process throughout your purchase.
Step 4: Find Your Home
So you've met with your trusted advisers, and now you're ready to begin your search. But how or where do you start? There are a lot of homes out there, and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. Your Keller Williams agent will help you more accurately pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible.
Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- What amenities are crucial for you and your family?
- How much space do you need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would you be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability a priority?
- Is accessibility to main routes a priority?
- What features are not negotiable in your new property?
You'll learn as you look at homes, your priorities will probably adjust along the way.
Step 5: Make an offer
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you're writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).
Price-the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent's market research will guide this decision.
Terms-the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
- Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
- Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
- Commission-the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
- Closing costs-it's standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
- Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
- Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
Step 6: Perform due diligence
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why home owner's insurance and property inspections are so important.
- Against loss or damage to the property itself
- liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers.
- Your major concern is structural damage.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
- If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
Step 7: Close
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender's confirmation of the home's value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.
You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:
- Stay in control of your finances.
- Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
- Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
- Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
- Obtain certified funds for closing.
- Conduct a final walk-through.
On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you'll sign documents that do the following:
- Finalize your mortgage.
- Pay the seller.
- Pay your closing costs.
- Transfer the title from the seller to you.
- Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
Step 8: Protect your investment
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you've probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you've gotten to know each other fairly well. There's no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.
- Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
- Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
- Help your friends find homes.
- Keep track of your home's current market value.
Attention to you home's maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.
Home maintenance falls into two categories:
- Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home's systems, depending on their age and style.
- Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.