Are you thinking about buying a home and want to know what to expect from beginning to end? Stay tuned as I cover the steps involved in buying a home.
There are 5 major steps or phases you’ll encounter when buying a home:
- Home Tours
- Offers & Negotiations
- Escrow & Close
Let’s get into it.
The very first step in your journey towards home ownership will be to research the minimum requirements to buy in the areas you are considering. For details on requirements to buy in SoCal, watch my video “minimum requirements to buy a home”
The 3 items you will want to analyze and monitor closely as you prepare to buy a home are:
1. Your credit: aim to be above 640
2. Your downpayment: aim to have 5-7% of the purchase price
3. Your income: aim to have a gross monthly income of 2.5 -3 times what your mortgage would be
CONSULTATION & PRE-APPROVAL
If your credit, downpayment, and income are in the ballpark of the requirements for your area, the very next steps are to set up a consultation with a realtor and get pre-approved for a home loan.
Most Realtors offer free consultations to help you understand the market and buying process in your area, answer questions, and connect you with a local lender to get pre-approved for a home loan
Being pre-approved is free and at no obligation. It helps answer the following questions:
1. How much home can you afford
2. How much money will you need to close on your home
3. What will your monthly mortgage be
4. Are there any special programs to help you
I recommend finding a local Realtor you would want to work with and having them refer you to a lender that’s familiar with programs in your area
If you are looking in SoCal including LA, OC, Riverside, or San Bernardino, I can recommend excellent lenders. Use this link to book a consultation with me.
Congratulations! Now that you have completed your pre-approval the fun begins. You are ready to start shopping for a home.
Let me repeat that: ONCE you are pre-approved for a home loan, you are ready to tour homes.
The number one mistake I see buyers make is wanting to find the right home first, and then get pre-approved. Avoid the temptation. I’ve seen too many buyers lose out on their dream home because another buyer that was prepared with all their paperwork beat them to the opportunity or by simply finding out that they can’t afford it Your Realtor will coordinate appointments and guide you on what’s available to view at your price point
OFFERS & NEGOTIATIONS
Once you find the house that you want to call home, it’s time to submit an offer. This part can feel scary and overwhelming.
Some of the questions you’ll wrestle with are:
- Can I negotiate the price?
- What if something is wrong with the house?
- What if I find a better house later?
- Can I cancel if I change my mind?
All of these questions and fears are normal, and SHOULD be discussed with your Realtor. I recommend sitting down and discussing these and any other questions you may have with your agent BEFORE you find a home you love.
Many times homes will have multiple offers or offer deadlines and you’ll have to make decisions quickly. It helps if you already know what is included in the contract to purchase in your area, your rights of cancellation, your bottom line cost to own the home, etc. Have these difficult conversations early so you feel empowered when it’s time to negotiate.
ESCROW & CLOSE
Once you’re offer is accepted, you are ready to move into the escrow phase. What’s an escrow you asked?
The best way to think of it is the “in between” period where we are doing all the tasks and legal paperwork required to transfer the title of the property to your name. The escrow period is typically 30-45 days.
Here’s what you can expect to happen during the escrow period:
- You will send in a deposit to get the process started
- You will complete a home inspection to confirm the home you are buying is safe 3. Your lender will complete a home appraisal to ensure you are not over paying for the home
- You will review and approve terms of your loan
- You will review and approve reports and disclosures from the seller, city, and state
You have rights of cancellation should any issues come up in the inspection, appraisal, loan, reports, etc. Your Realtor will walk you through it.
If everything is to your satisfaction, then you are ready to CLOSE!
You get your keys on the day of closing. 🔑
We talked a lot about the logistics involved in a purchase, but are you wondering whether this is even the right time? Make sure to watch my video “Is Now The Right Time To Buy.”