Real Estate

8 Steps to Homeownership

Step 1. Identify Your Needs

The key to a successful real estate transaction is to be an informed and financially prepared buyer. You should also have a professional real estate agent to help you navigate the home buying process. That’s where I come in. My job is to guide you through the entire home-buying process from identifying the right property to the moment you get your keys— and everything in between.

Step 2. Financially Prepare and Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Your Financial House in Order? Good credit = good interest rate. For at least one year prior to purchasing a home, you should assure that every credit card bill, rent payments, car notes, and other debt is paid on time and revolving debt (such as credit cards) should be below 35% utilization.

How will you pay for this dream? Finding the right house is second only to finding the right loan. There are many loan types and programs available. Some loan types are: FHA, VA, Conventional, 203(k), and USDA. It is important to explore all of your options with the lender to determine what’s best for you. Down payment and closing costs play a key role in obtaining a home loan. Closing costs cover fees, taxes, and administrative expenses. Your down payment is the amount that you put toward the purchase of your home and is deducted from the loan amount. For example, an FHA loan requires a 3.5% down payment (purchase price x 3.5% = down payment amount). Your lender will discuss this in more detail.

Step 3. Let's Go Shopping!

This is the fun part! As a home buyer, you can peruse thousands of real estate listings online, and I will set up appointments to see your favorites in person.

Step 4. Make an Offer

Found your dream home? Then it’s time to make an offer to the seller. I will use my market knowledge and valuation tools so that we craft a winning offer.

Step 5. Conduct a Home Inspection

A home inspection is always recommended. You are advised to hire a home inspector to check out the house from top to bottom to determine if the home is in acceptable condition and/or if further negotiation is necessary. A home inspection also familiarizes you with the property, for example, where to locate the main water shut off valve, how to locate and reset an electrical breaker in the electric panel, etc. The inspector will provide a full report after the inspection which you and I will discuss to determine the next step.

Step 6. Get an Appraisal

The lender orders an appraisal to validate the purchase price for the home. The bank will not loan more than what the property is worth.

Step 7. Head to Closing

Closing, also referred to as settlement, is where the deed is formally transferred from the seller to the buyer and your loan documents are signed. On this day, you will bring a cashier’s check or have the funds wired to the title company to cover your down payment and closing costs mentioned earlier. You will officially become a new homeowner and get the keys to your house!

Step 8. Move In!

Done with closing? Got your loan? Congratulations, you’ve officially graduated from a homebuyer to a homeowner! Now it’s time to kick back and enjoy the many benefits of becoming a homeowner.

Find Your Dream Home