Being a first time homebuyer can seem overwhelming and even out-of-reach sometimes. It's MUCH more attainable than you think! I'm here to make it all a lot less scary and a lot more doable. Here is a simplified step-by-step process of how to get started:
1. Get pre-qualified! This is a crucial step to take at the beginning for many reasons. One hefty one is so that you don't get your heart set on a home that may be out of your budget. The more you know about what you can afford, the better off you are--and thankfully it's easy to get this info! All you need to do is call a lender (click here for a recommendation) and ask to talk to a broker about getting pre-qualified for a home loan. They will walk you through the rest. This process can take as little as ten minutes! And if you're worried about your credit, don't sweat it yet! If there's a minor problem, lots of times the broker can actually help you restructure your financials and get you where you need to be!
2. Figure out what you're looking for in a house. Once you know what kind of a house you can afford, it's important to go into your search with a flexible idea of what you're looking for. How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Do you want a garage? Close proximity to work? Do you need a whole room just for your cat? So many options! Keep in mind that it's common for buyers to fall in love with a house they would have never expected.
3. Find an agent. Despite what you may have heard, we REALTORS® are nice people! Plus, we help find you the perfect home for your needs, and weed out all the ones that you definitely don't want--foundation cracks, noisy neighbors, no cat room, oh my! Agents are extensively trained and experienced in negotiating home prices (put that extra money towards decorating!) so we can help you keep that ca$h. A common myth is that as a buyer, you would pay your agent's commission....that's not the case. The sellers of the house you purchase will actually pay this. It's important to find someone that you trust and who is enjoyable to work with. You guys will be spending a lot of time together!
4. Choose your house and make an offer. Your REALTOR® will walk you through this process step-by-step and take care of all the communication with the sellers and their agent. If your offer is accepted, congratulations! But you're not done yet. Now is when you and your agent will go through the final steps, such as ordering an inspection, appraisal, survey--all that good stuff. Click here for a quick closing cost guide. After an offer is accepted, it's typical to close (AKA transfer title to you) in about 4-7 weeks.
5. So you've closed on the house. NOW you're an official homeowner! Welcome to the American dream, you can relax. My job doesn't end here, however. I'm here to be your resource for everything homeowner-related. Do you need a good landscaper? Call me. Did you accidentally back through your garage door? Call me. You want to get lunch? Call me! I have the time, and I want to help.