Buying your first home is an exciting and liberating experience! But it can also be a bit daunting if you don’t know what to expect. A little bit of preparation can go a long way in making you feel right at home in your real estate purchase. Things you should consider in the home buying process are finding the right real estate agent to discuss current market values and your perfect home wish list, getting pre-approved for or securing a home loan, looking at homes that meet your criteria, negotiations on prices and terms, home inspection, final walk through, and finally, closing on your home – which means getting the keys and unlocking your dreams of home ownership! Keep in mind, though, this process requires patience and you should expect certain delays along the way to owning your first home.
Your real estate agent can help you understand current market value of homes in the neighborhood you prefer and help refine your wish list to match up with your budget. Wish lists and must haves often exceed the budget. Your agent can help you define what is truly important and refine your list so it doesn’t break the bank.
Speaking of banks, the next step in your home buying experience is getting pre-approved for or securing a home loan. You’ll still need to cover a deposit and closing costs out of pocket, but pre-approval of your home loan lets you know the parameters and what you can afford.
Your agent can then narrow the search to accommodate your wish list and your budget. Although you should primarily be looking only at homes that match your criteria, trust your agent if they offer to show you something off the beaten path. Often times, first-time homebuyers don’t know what they really want until they’ve seen it. Your realtor uses her tenure and expertise in the real estate industry to introduce concepts to you that you may not have otherwise considered. Pleasant surprises from your real estate agent can help you truly consider all the possibilities prior to purchasing your first house.
Once you’ve found a home that checks off most or all of the wants on your wish list and is tucked comfortably within your budget, your agent can negotiate your offer and terms. At this stage, be prepared to make a good-faith deposit with your offer, which does not come from your home loan funds. You may experience multiple offers on the home or enter a bidding war, but your agent’s experience in the industry will help guide you through this process and help get the best bang for your buck when buying your new home.
Next, the home you’re purchasing will undergo a home inspection process. This is to ensure that the home is in good condition and not in need of any major repairs. You may inquire about a home warranty, which some home sellers include in the price of their home, to protect both the buyer and the seller from any unforeseen major repairs on items such as heating and cooling units, hot water heaters, and even some appliances.
Before all is said and done, you should be offered a final walk-through of the property before closing. This is your final opportunity to discover and/or draw attention to any shortcomings in the home’s condition. Once you sign off on the walk-through, you assume responsibility for the home and everything in it.
Finally, you’ll be closing on the home, which means you get the keys and can unlock all your dreams of home ownership! Your real estate agent will have walked you step-by-step through the home-buying process and will have represented your best interest in negotiating offers and terms in your venture. This is how your real estate agent earns not just her commission, but more importantly, your respect, and hopefully, your referrals to other first time home buyers.
Ready to buy a home in Midland? Give Laura Castillo a call at 432-701-0506.