Buying a home can be an overwhelming experience. ESPECIALLY if it’s your first home. Some steps are easy (searching Zillow), and some are harder (figuring out what to offer). Here are some steps to help you along the way.
Get Pre-Qualified First
This is by far and away the most important first step in the buying process. A lender will be able to tell you what you qualify for, and breakdown what your payments will look like. There is nothing worse than beginning a search online, falling in love with a home, and finding out that because your debt-to-income ratio is a bit too high, you cannot afford it.
There are two options here: a “pre-qual” and a “pre approval.” A pre-qual can be given by a lender based on stated income and assuming good credit. This can be used as a starting point to get the ball rolling. But a pre-approval means that the lender has already verified your income (looked at your w-2’s or 1099) and pulled credit. When you go to submit an offer on a property, having your pre-approval ready will be important.
Get A Home Inspection
I recently wrote an article about the need for a home inspection. Long story short… It’s very important.
There is some debate on wether or not you should inspect a NEW construction home, but if the home has been lived in before, there is not doubt that this is a VERY important step.
A general home inspection will alert you to any potential problems that you may run into once you take ownership. Usually, the things that get uncovered are unseen. Plumbing, foundation, roof, electrical, HVAC systems will all get checked and can be BIG ticket items if they go out on your watch, so it’s always advisable to spend $250-$500 to make sure that everything is in working order.