Steps in Purchasing a Home...Home Buying Process

Steps in Purchasing a Home...

Home Buying Process...

Purchasing a home is a big decision and you want to be prepared.  It is an exciting time in your life and a good buyer's agent representing you is invaluable. 

The following are some steps in purchasing a home to help you to get started....

1st....Find a qualified buyer's agent...it is important to have a good buying agent representing you and looking out for your best interest.  This person is key to the home buying process.  You want that person to be on your "team".

2nd...Financing Pre-Qualification...this is the next important step in the process.  If you are not in the position to pay for the home with cash, you will want to meet with a reputable lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.  The lender will evaluate your financial situation to determine how much you can afford to pay for a home and mortgage loan.  Keep in mind that you want mortgage terms to be favorable to your situation.  By doing this important step you will be able to determine what price range of homes you can look at.  This saves time by focusing on homes you can afford.  Your buyer's agent can give you names of reputable lenders if you do not know of one.

3rd...Needs and Wants...determine betwen the two before you proceed.  Make a list of the things you absolutely need in a home and the things you desire.  To help narrow it down, mark their importance on the list.  This list of features helps you figure out what items are absolute requirements and which ones you'd like to have if possible.  Your buying agent is a good resource to help you learn what you need to know to make informed decisions.

4th...Shop for a Home...today more than ever buyers are looking on the internet for homes at the many real estate websites available to consumers online.  This is a great opportunity for you to begin your search.  Remember, your buying agent has access to the MLS Multiple Listing Service which has all available listed homes in your search area.  Your buying agent is able to search the MLS for homes that fit your criteria for you too.  Your buying agent is a great partner in your search.  They are able to tell you what homes in your search are available for purchase and what the current real estate market values trends are.  Your buying agent will schedule showings for those homes that you want to view that fit your criteria and price range.  Use the knowledge and value that your buying agent brings. 

5th...The Offer to Purchase...once the decision is made as to what home you want to purchase your buying agent will be able to assist you in placing an offer.  Your buying agent will help you reach an agreement with the seller in negotiating the price, terms, how and when you can buy the home; and help navigate you through the transaction process. 

6th...Mortgage Loan Approval Process...and Home Inspection time...once the offer has been accepted your next step will be to contact your lender for the approval process.  This will be a time where you will be providing more necessary documentation to the lender.  This is also the time to have a Home Inspection and any other inspections of the home that are contingent on the purchase. Other inspections may included pest, well & spetic, mold, lead based paint, etc...there are usually time frame deadlines involved in these inspections  Your buyer's agent will assist you in this process.

7th...Prepare for Closing...one of the items the lender of your mortgage will require at closing is proof of homeowner's insurance; this is a good time to shop for homeowner's insurance.  Also, time to prepare for utility company transfers for the closing date.  

8th....The Close...this is the legal transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.  Depending on financing this usually takes place 4 to 6 weeks after the offer is accepted and the terms and contingencies have been met.  Your buying agent will coordinate the closing with all parties involved and follow through on what is needed to close. 

9th..The move...time to prepare for moving day.  Make a moving plan prior to the closing date is important to reduce any surprises and hassles that moving may entail.  Your buying agent can assist you by providing check lists and names of reputable moving companies and services.

10th...Time to Celebrate!!!!...Congratulations!   You now have a new house to make it "your home".  Enjoy! 

If you have any questions to these steps listed above or are considering purchasing a home in Holland or in the surrounding West Michigan Lakeshore Area and need assistance, please feel free to contact Janice at #616-355-6326

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Janice VandenBerg

Janice VandenBerg

Associate Broker
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