Home Buying 101: A Step-by-step Guide for First-time Buyers

Buying a home is a financial and emotional investment. This is especially true to couples who are starting a family and would like to secure a home for the coming brood of kids and pets. While many young couples are tempted to rent a house because it is less complicated, there are perks of buying your home at the early stages of your partnership.

This guide is for first-time buyers who are hesitant to dive in and invest on real estate because they are unfamiliar with the process. Purchasing a home may appear cumbersome and complicated, but the process is actually easy if you have been professionally advised. Here’s how to do it:

1. Make a checklist of first house must-haves. Do you want a three-bedroom bungalow home? Or would a loft-type condominium suit you better? Do you want a property with a swimming pool? Or would you prefer to have a low-maintenance abode? Make a list of specifications that you want your first home to have. Aside from helping you narrow down the search for later, you can also set a realistic budget for the purchase.

2. Settle with a location. It’s very easy to get side-tracked when you are on the actual home search phase. Therefore, it’s wisest to settle with one location long before you start your search. A few things to consider are the accessibility of the area to various establishments, the community you want to live in, and your budget, among other things.

3. Get prequalified AND preapproved. Some people tend to do this only when they have found THE home they want to buy. However, getting prequalified AND preapproved while making a commitment to the sellers may not be a good idea, as you don’t have a 100% chance of getting the loan you need. Don’t risk losing your Earnest Money Deposit OR getting sued for not pushing through with a purchase.

The ideal way to do it is to get prequalified to know the price you can afford, and THEN get preapproved with a lender to make sure that buying the home you want will be quick and seamless BEFORE starting the search.

4. Work with an agent. We can list down a few more steps here that would entail the home buying process (set aside valuable time to search for homes, set appointments, attend showings, get in touch with the seller or his agent, take care of documentation while on escrow, pay fees, etc.), but since we want you to have the easiest home buying experience, we highly recommend hiring an agent who will represent you and assist you all throughout the home buying process.

5. Give your checklist, preferred location, preapproval letter (a copy would do), and other required documents to your agent. This step is pretty much culminating, as this means you are entrusting your home search to a professional. However, don’t fret with the idea of entrusting such an important task to a stranger; you are actually doing yourself a favor because you won’t have to make sacrifices of your time and effort in looking for a house as your agent will do this for you. You only have to attend showings and sign documents when needed.

6. Keep in touch with your agent—AND don’t expect a miracle in 24 hours. Your agent will likely have more than one client, and let’s admit; finding the perfect home for you shouldn’t be rushed. What you have to do is be patient and simply keep in touch. Your agent will surely communicate with you once he finds a property you might be interested in.

7. Follow instructions on escrow and closing. The primary benefit of having an agent working with you is you don’t have to worry about legal procedures and documents. When you have finally found the home you want to buy, your agent will take care of escrow and closing. All you need to do is be there and sign.

The bottom line is, your first home buying experience can either be easy or complicated. It will depend on your decision to hire or not to hire an agent who can help. If you have questions about the process, you may reach Cain Realty Group by clicking on the link, or by calling (512) 522-4659.

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