How To Start the Home Buying Process for the First Time
Every current homeowner had to start the home buying process for the first time at some point. We all have to go through it eventually, but it doesn’t always have to be hard. Now, with so much information readily available online, home buying is easier than ever! Buying your first house may seem like a very intimidating process when you begin to approach it, but with the right resources it’s much easier than you might think. In this article, I’ll cover 3 simple steps to guide home buyers who are going through this process for the first time. Let’s get started.
Research Online Before Getting Started
Anytime you enter into an industry as large as real estate as a consumer, it’s always smart to know the basics first. There’s lots of information to learn when you’re buying a home for the first time. Fortunately for you, almost all of this information is online. Simply search Google or YouTube for the info you need. In my opinion, most of the smaller local real estate blogs offer better, more specific information than the large national ones. They will go deeper into detail and offer advice from people who are currently out working in your real estate market. Many of the large companies hire writers to produce content that is simple and generic. Local real estate blogs like this one have a wealth of current info to help you through every issue that you need to address as a home buyer.
Real estate professionals who are knowledgeable and willing to share their experience online are a valuable resource. If you find a local real estate website that consistently produces useful info, consider reaching out to them and asking the questions that you have about the home buying process. These real estate professionals are usually very helpful and tech savvy, at the same time. That’s a great combination of skills to have in this rapidly changing tech-driven business world that we work in today. As you are online searching for local information, try to spot the agents that have a strong internet presence and see what information they provide on their website.
Obtain a Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval
As you’re doing your research online, you’ll quickly learn that obtaining a mortgage pre-approval is your first actionable step towards home ownership. Don’t be afraid of the mortgage pre-approval! It’s a very easy process. A mortgage broker or loan officer will ask you a few questions to help you determine if you are ready to apply for a mortgage. If they determine that you are ready to move forward, they will usually ask you to fill out a loan application, which can be done online or in person. They will also check your credit score as well. Most lenders are looking for a credit score of 620, or higher.
Your mortgage pre-approval will help you determine the price range of homes that you should be looking at. It will also help you determine the type of home that you should be considering. If you have a pre-approval for an FHA loan with down payment assistance, you may have a hard time qualifying for a foreclosure that needs repairs. Knowing your financing limits is very important when starting the home buying process.
Your loan pre-approval will also show real estate professionals that you are ready to buy a home. When you talk to home builders and Realtors, you will be treated like a pro when you have already obtained your pre-approval. Most busy real estate professionals will not spend much time working with home buyers until they are pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s that important of a step in your home buying journey.
Find a Good REALTOR
With all of the valuable information already available online, some people wait until the last-minute to find a Realtor to help them out. It can seem like Realtors are simply the gate keepers that stand between you and the property you want to visit. While there are Realtors out there who are less useful than others, there are plenty who are invaluable. A good Realtor will completely change your entire home buying experience. From helping you understand the pros and cons of different areas to advising you on how to structure a smart purchase contract to get your offer accepted, good Realtors do it all.
What you don’t want is someone who will simply put you on an automated email drip campaign and forget about you until you need help. As a pre-approved home buyer, you should be treated like royalty. Good Realtors will hand-pick homes to send to you, in case you missed them. They will spend time every week looking for properties that meet your search criteria. They will not try to show you properties above your price range. They will listen to you more than they talk themselves. You’ll know when you’ve got a good one by how they respond to you when you voice your opinions and/or concerns.
Don’t wait until the last-minute to find a Realtor to help you purchase a home. If you’ve already been impressed by a local Realtor and think you would like to work with them, contact them as soon as you’re ready to start the process. They will help guide you through every step of the home buying process and look out for your best interests. If you don’t know a good Realtor, do some research online to find a good one. The best ones should have a strong internet presence in your local area.
Now The Fun Begins!
Buying a home is one of the most exciting purchases that you will ever make. If you leverage good real estate professionals in your local market, you’ll get the best results. Once you have conquered the home buying process and get your keys at closing, it will all have been worth the effort. The excitement and reward are unforgettable. Everyone remembers buying their first home because it is such a memorable experience. Good luck and happy house hunting!