Purchasing a home for the first time can be overwhelming. Many moving parts have to be considered when buying a home, and your journey starts before you even get to that first showing. Thankfully, TitleQuest has an easy-to-follow guide of steps to remember when purchasing your first home.
Step 1 Determine Your Budget
The first step you must take as a first-time homebuyer is to determine your budget. There are many variables to consider when determining your budget. This includes an accurate credit report, your credit score, funds available for a downpayment, property taxes, monthly fees like HOA or condo association fees to name a few.
Determining how much you can realistically afford will help you avoid falling in love with a house outside of your price range.
Step 2 Find a Knowledgeable Agent
One of the best ways you can find a home that suits your needs is by working with a knowledgeable real estate agent. They can provide you with access to the MLS, which is a one-stop destination for home listings in your area. This access also allows you to view houses as they come on the market, and find listings before they are available on other sites.
In addition, real estate agents have many connections that they use to help get you a good deal. They know red flags to watch out for on an inspection report, which neighborhoods are desirable, and what to put in your offer letter. Their expertise and knowledge of the real estate market and conditions are invaluable when it comes to purchasing your first home.
Step 3 Get Pre-Approved
The next step in the process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage with a lender. Many first-time homebuyers go with their first option, but it is important that you get pre-approved with multiple lenders to determine the best value.
The pre-approval process allows you to know exactly how much a lender will give you and what price range you are looking for. Similarly, this will help you make competitive offers because sellers want to make sure you have the money available to purchase a house.
Step 4 Home Inspection
Once you have found a house in your price range it is time to make an offer. Make sure your offer is competitive, but make sure you don’t skip out on certain measures.
The state of Virginia doesn’t require a home inspection for every home purchase, but this couple hundred dollars will give you confidence in your purchase and potentially save you unnecessary bills later. Talk to your licensed real estate professional for more information.
Many buyers—especially when it is a seller’s market—will be inclined to waive the inspection to seem more attractive to the seller. However, this can have detrimental effects on your financial health.
In some cases, there may not be anything wrong with the house, but in others, an inspection can unearth huge problems that would have cost you a fortune later on. This can include structural damage, a termite infestation, faulty wiring, or even poor renovations.
Step 5 Purchase Homeowner’s Insurance
Once your offer has been accepted, it is imperative that you purchase homeowner’s insurance. Many lenders require you to have it to qualify for a loan.
Homeowner’s insurance protects your home in the case of any natural disasters or unforeseen events. This protects not only you but the lender as well, from a big financial loss.
Step 6 Get Title Insurance
In addition to homeowner’s insurance, title insurance is also an important aspect of your home-buying process.
Title insurance is purchased through your closing company and protects you from any problems that may pop up from previous homeowners and titleholders. It ensures that your home remains your home no matter what.
Step 7 Close with a Trusted Title Company
The final step in your home buying journey is to close on the home. This is when the title of the property is officially transferred from the previous owner to you.
There are many steps involved with closing and the wrong title company can make life much more difficult and frustrating.
Thankfully, TitleQuest is a well-known and trusted title company for real estate in Virginia and North Carolina. We have helped thousands of first-time homebuyers purchase the home of their dreams with no problems.