The 10 Steps of Home Buying
Your dream home is within reach, but there’s so much more to choosing a house that meets your needs. Educate yourself on purchasing a residence to gain an overview and avoid any potential pitfalls along the way! At Mcmillan Land and Realty, we want your home-buying experience to go as smoothly as possible. Continue reading to learn all the steps to buy a home.
Step 1: Get Pre-Qualified
Before contacting a real estate agent, pre-qualification from a lender is essential. It will give you an exact budget for your next purchase and make sellers more likely to consider your offer! This is usually encouraged before sitting down and coming up with a budget. That way, you do not want to spend more than you are qualified for! Don’t be intimidated by the pre-qualification process! Learn all you need to know with our in-depth blog post. It breaks down each step to simplify this essential real estate journey so you can feel confident when making an offer on your dream home.
Step 2: Assess Your Credit Score
Before taking out a loan, you must thoroughly review your credit report to ensure accuracy. Your score is pulled from three major reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – all of whom offer free access once a year. Your bank or credit card may also provide your credit report for free. If any errors are present in the report, make sure you dispute them promptly so they can be resolved while securing financing. This means seeing if you have any outstanding balances on old addresses listed and ensuring each loan balance is listed only once. Contacting the credit bureaus to correct these errors can take time, but having an accurate and high FICO score will give lenders confidence when evaluating your trustworthiness with money matters.
Your credit score can often dictate the interest rate you’ll receive, so it’s essential to know your number and understand the components that determine it. A great score generally lies above 720 for conventional loans, while 580 or higher may be sufficient for FHA mortgages, but eligibility is always lender-specific. If credit improvement is a priority before applying for a loan, there are several areas you should focus on: payment history, total debt owed, how long accounts have been open, newly acquired lines of credit, and existing types of available borrowing options. The lender helping you get prequalified can give you tips or help you raise your credit score.
Step 3: Decide How Much You Want To Spend
Knowing your budget is key when house-hunting. Sit down and make a list of must-haves – such as the number of bedrooms & bathrooms, square footage, outdoor space, or school district you’d prefer to be in so you have an idea of what’s possible with pre-approved finances. For pet owners, remember important details like how friendly the neighborhood might be for furry family members; commuters will want to factor in travel times too! With these considerations on hand, it’ll help narrow down precisely which home suits both necessity and desire best.
Step 4: Find a Trusted Real Estate Agent in South Mississippi
Buying a home can be overwhelming, so having an experienced real estate agent is essential in this market. Homebuyers should find an expert who understands the market and their specific needs and knows how to negotiate well to get what you want. At McMillan Land & Realty, our knowledgeable real estate agents have years of experience in both South Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana; when you work with us, we’ll help you locate your ideal property without hassle!
For more information about our team, get to know us!
Step 5: Start Your Home Search
Ready to embark on your home search? Be sure to have realistic expectations for your budget and what you can afford. Review your want and wish list and then review it with your realtor before they start their search. This will help them filter out properties that won’t fit your needs. When they find a few properties that match well within your parameters, schedule a time to view them. This can be one of the most exciting parts of your home-buying process!
Whether you’re touring properties in person or looking online, you must evaluate the “health” of each house. When visiting a prospective property, take note of structural defects and cracking, test water pressure, and check doors and windows for functionality and noise retention levels from outside sources like neighbors or traffic. When looking at homes with property, know what property rights come with the land. Is there an easement on the property, or does it not come with full timber rights? These are things your agent should help you understand.
Are you interested in buying a home? Browse our list of our Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana properties!
Step 6: Make An Offer
When looking for a new home, use the comparative market analysis (CMA) performed by your real estate agent. This will give you an informed estimate of what constitutes a reasonable offer price based on comparable recent sales in the area. Furthermore, depending upon local conditions of your housing markets and other factors such as urgency or availability may influence how much flexibility should be left during negotiations with sellers. All variables must be examined before making any offers!
Remember that an offer can include many things. You can ask that the seller fix something in the house you noticed was broken, keep the appliances with the house, and more. Be sure to work with your agent to ask what you want as part of the sale.
Step 7: Schedule A Home Inspection
Protecting your investment in a new home is essential, so include an inspection contingency and perform a thorough evaluation of the property. An inspection can be scheduled within a week after signing the contract, so make sure you attend this appointment if possible – not only will it allow you to get acquainted with every nook and cranny, but it also provides insight into any significant issues beneath its surface. After obtaining official findings from the inspector, take some time for discussion with your agent about how best to approach them with either re-negotiations or credits towards post-closing repairs if needed.
Step 8: Secure Your Financing
The mortgage process can be lengthy, but once you have been pre-approved, your journey to officially close on purchasing your property is almost complete. Don’t forget some additional steps need to take place for everything to check out with the lender and receive their “clearance.” If all goes well, soon enough, nothing will stop you from signing off on the deal!
Home Loan Application: To ensure a speedy and successful application process, quickly respond to your lender’s requests. If you’re proceeding with the same institution that pre-approved you, they will likely need updated financial documents like W2s before closing can occur. In contrast, if applying elsewhere, the new lender should inform you of the required paperwork before beginning the formal process. Act swiftly in either situation so there are no unexpected delays!
Appraisal: When taking a major financial step, such as buying property, your lender will hire an appraiser. Your real estate agent and seller’s representative should collaborate with this professional to book an appointment for an appraisal so you can receive copies of the report showing how their calculations brought about its assessed fair market value, along with any comparable features used.
When you receive your appraisal, you must consult your lender and analyze the best course of action that works for both sides. Your mortgage payments could be higher or lower than what was initially agreed upon, so investigate all options before making any decisions.
Step 9: Purchase a Homeowners Insurance Policy
Before closing on your new home, make sure you have a suitable homeowners insurance policy in place. If you already own property, reach out to your existing agent and inquire about opening an additional one for this transaction. Otherwise, take the time to research which coverage suits your needs best.Your lender may also be able to help coordinate payments via escrow accounts when necessary.
Step 10: Close and Move
Congratulations on buying your dream home! Before closing,complete a final walkthrough of the property, ensuring that it looks as expected and that any pre-agreed-upon repairs have been taken care of by the seller. On closure day, be prepared for an extended visit at the title company. Also, bring along 3–5% of the sale price to cover all relevant expenses. Once everything is settled and recorded, get those keys. They signify ownership and opportunity, now yours! Do not forget to set up utilities such as electricity, cable TV connection, etc., so everything will work properly when you move into your new house. Enjoy this fresh start; may it last for many years ahead!
Buy Realty in South Mississippi with McMillan Land & Realty
With this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and resources to begin your home-buying journey confidently. Remember, consider your options carefully; after all, it is a major purchase that warrants thoughtful decision-making! Our team is ready to help you through the process. Contact us today!
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