The Real Home-Buying Process
Embarking on the process of buying a home is a super exciting one (so, congratulations!). However, it’s also a long process, and it usually involves a lot of red tape, hoop jumping, and paperwork. After all, you’re purchasing — and most likely financing — a pretty massive investment, and it’s a really big decision. The key to doing it the right way, however, is to make sure you understand what exactly it is you’re doing.
While you’ll want the right team at your side to help you along the way, making sure you yourself are aware of all of the steps is super helpful. Here’s what you need to know about the *real* home buying process, steps and all.
Step 1: The process before the process.
The home buying process really starts long before the actual home buying process — and understanding this is key to making sure that you can make the right decision with the right purchasing power. First up, get your finances into order — check your credit score (optimize it if you need), work to save up for an estimated down payment, ensure that you don’t have any big purchases coming up soon, and start gathering details about what you want in a home, from the location it’s in to the amount you want to pay for it.
Step 2: Get prequalified for a loan and define a budget.
We recommend getting prequalified for your loan before you even start looking for a home — and we most definitely recommend defining a serious budget for your home buying journey. By getting prequalified and setting parameters, you can make a great financial decision that actually fits your life. Plus, getting prequalified for a loan can help to save you steps later on. It’s also a great time to shop around, since different lenders may offer you different interest rates.
Step 3: Enlist a realtor and get looking.
Now comes the fun part — yay! Once you’ve gotten all your ducks in a row, you can find a realtor (or do it on your own) and find your dream home! Our best advice is here is simple — be patient. Finding a home can be really frustrating at times, and most homebuyers know the feeling of finding a dream home and then realizing someone else has already put an offer in. It’ll happen!
Step 4: Make an offer (plus, dot your I’s and cross your T’s).
If you’ve found the home you could see yourself living in, making an offer is the next step. Your job? Make a smart offer based on your budget and the parameters you’ve already set in place, and contact your realtor about the need for any contingencies in the offer. If your offer is accepted, congratulations! But, the work’s not over. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s by ensuring that you get a home inspection, an appraisal, and a detailed walkthrough pre-closing.
Step 5: Close!
You’re in the final countdown! Closing is the last thing you’ll have to do before you can get the keys in hand for your new home, and it’s definitely a process. This will typically involve several people and a lot of paperwork (you have some disclosures to read), as well as closing costs to be paid. But, hey! You did it! You’re in, and that’s a huge deal.
At VRM Lending, we’re proud to work alongside people like you to find your dream properties. With our dedicated team and tailored list of loan products, we have you covered. Find out more here.