Home Buying Checklist

For many people, buying a house is a dream come true, make sure to have your home buying checklist to be prepared. You get to have a place to call your own—and, if you're lucky, its value will increase with time. While property-buying can certainly be exciting, it can also be stressful. This is especially true if you're new to the process. You don't want to risk a negative home-buying experience. By doing your research and following the below steps, you can ensure that things go smoothly.

Do your research for smooth house hunting?

House-hunting takes time. You don't want to rush the process. First, decide where you want to live. HomeWay Real Estate offers tips for researching neighborhoods before you buy in them. For example, you can look up neighborhood ratings online using platforms like Niche.com and community websites. Simply visiting the neighborhood and walking around, at day and at night, can also give you a feel for it.

Once you've narrowed down the location, it's time to start thinking about the house itself. Consider your household's unique needs. For example, if you have kids or a dog, you might want a big backyard for them to play in. If you work from home, having a home office space is useful. If you like to cook, you probably want a big kitchen. If you have house guests frequently, an extra bedroom and bathroom are useful.

Determine what you can afford in advance

The last thing you want is to find your dream property only to discover that you can't afford it. Before you start house hunting, set a budget for yourself. You can get an idea of how much you'll have to pay for the type of property you want by researching home prices in your target area online. Look at properties similar in size and style to the one you'd like to own for reasonable and accurate comparisons.

Also, don't forget to factor in the costs related to moving homes. You'll have to pay movers and the price can vary according to how far you're moving, the day of the week, and how much stuff you have. The heavier your belongings and the more you have, the more the cost will be. You'll also have to pay extra for speedy delivery or personalized delivery. If you opt to share a truck with other households, it might be cheaper.

Get a Mortgage Broker - Mortgage Quote

Once you have a budget in mind, it's time to find a lender. Keep in mind that you may or may not obtain a certain loan to avoid mortgage insurance. Mortgage Quote is a mortgage brokerage firm that offers tools you can use to research your options, including a mortgage and debt-to-income ratio calculator, mortgage payoff plan calculator, and amortization calculator.

You may even consider trying to get pre-approved for a loan before you start searching for a home. This may help you compete as a homebuyer in a crowded housing market. Prepare the documents you'll need for the mortgage application to make sure it goes smoothly. You might need documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements, among others. Make sure to keep a copy of all the papers you submit for future reference.

Close The Deal

Once you've figured out the administrative paperwork and decided you want to go ahead with a house purchase, it's time to make an offer. Depending on how competitive the market is, you may or may not want to offer more than the asking price. It is always in our opinion best to consult a real estate agent. They should know the market and can advise on what's reasonable.

There are a few additional steps you'll have to take to close the deal once you've made an offer on a house. You want to review the purchase agreement, obtain a title search, request closing disclosures, get seller disclosures and organize a home inspection. You don't want to skip these practicalities. For example, a title search ensures that the property is rightfully owned by the person selling it to you and doesn't have any liens on it.

Home Buying Checklist

Take care of the home inspection and get a home warranty

A home inspection will reveal any potential issues with the property and provide details on appliances and their relevant warranties. You should consider getting a home inspection before buying, as it might reveal critical flaws like a faulty foundation or leaky roof. In some cases, these issues can be deal-breakers. Once you've completed the closing, you should also take steps to protect your new property. A home warranty can be viewed as ‘insurance’ just in case, that could be a smart investment toward this end.

This might provide coverage for your essential home systems and appliances, from HVAC to electrical and plumbing systems. Depending on the terms, some appliance repairs may be included as well. Before you pick a warranty, ask your real estate agent, read the provider reviews and check details like customer service, cost, and scope of coverage For example, with home warranty options in Florida, you might want to see if swimming pools are covered.

Prepare in advance for a seamless move

Once you've taken care of all the above steps, you can finally get to the fun part of moving to your new home. Start by decluttering your current home, getting rid of items you no longer need. Then, start packing, making sure to label boxes clearly. Finally, hire movers. You can research movers online and compare costs and services. For example, some companies only offer local moves, while others offer international or long-distance moves.

Once you're in your new place, focus on the rooms that you'll use most urgently. This usually includes the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Unpack those boxes first, and set a plan. You also want to be proactive about settling into your neighborhood, which can make you feel more connected to your new community. For example, you might take the time to introduce yourself to your neighbors or to visit some local businesses.

Buying a house is a big deal. You want to make sure you use all of your tools in your toolbelt, and key sources to make sure you feel comfortable and confident more than anything. Follow the steps above and it might prove to be a more seamless process. By taking care of basics like preparing your mortgage paperwork you are sparing yourself stress in the future.

Sources

How to prepare to buy a home?

Home buying checklist

Checklist for buying a home