Necessary Steps To Take When Planning To Buy A Home
So, you’ve decided to buy a house, but you’re unsure of what steps you need to take to ensure everything goes smoothly. A home purchase is a process, and skipping a step could result in some unwanted consequences. Buying a home is a significant investment with a price tag that could run into the six or even seven figures. The many required steps are in place to protect both parties in a home transaction — we’re here to help you navigate them. As a buyer, here are six important steps you need to take when buying a home:
- Start Your Research Early: When you want to purchase a home, start your research as early as possible. Identify possible neighborhoods, get a mortgage prequalification, determine how much you can afford and secure a quality real estate agent. These first steps to take before buying a home will ensure you’re ready to act when you find your dream house.
- Check Recent Sales Activity: Once you’ve found a home you like, check out sales activity in the area. You may fall in love with a home, but the value of that home is intrinsically tied to the neighborhood. How much distressed inventory sits in the neighborhood? Are homes lingering on the market? Are homeowners leaving the neighborhood in droves? If so, why? A home purchase is an investment, and the answers to these questions can tell you whether you’re making a strong decision.
- Check Out Open Houses: It’s always a smart idea to look at other homes in the area in person. What you want is to buy a home that’s just slighter nicer than others in the area without paying too much of a premium to attain that quality. Whether you’re planning to live in the home yourself or rent it out, finding a property that’s a notch above the neighbors is a terrific way to invest your money.
- Get a Thorough Title Review: When you’re purchasing a home, you want its title to be free and clear. The last thing you want is to discover after closing that the home has secondary liens or tax liens. How can you be sure? By getting a thorough title review. A title review conducted by an experienced professional can confirm the home you’re buying is owned free and clear by the seller, which means the seller can transfer 100% of it to you.
- Make Sure to Do a Home Inspection: This might surprise some buyers, but home inspections are not required by law. Most mortgage lenders do not even require them. Still, you absolutely must get an inspection before you purchase a home. This is your one chance to find out if the home includes a faulty electric system, a leaky roof, foundation problems or mold — and the list goes on and on.
- Close the Sale: You’ll need to get fully qualified for your loan, and you’ll also need to have the home appraised. But, assuming these steps go smoothly, you’ll be ready to close in no time.