After I turned 25, I started making a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life. There was everything on the list from paying off my student loans to decorating my office to buying a house. To be completely honest, it was a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30 years old but I wanted to be realistic. I had a few things on the list that just wasn’t possible so I switched into a “list of things I want to accomplish.”
The list is never ending and I’m happy with it. It is not only a great way to keep track of my goals, but it’s fun to be able to look at the list and see all that I’ve accomplished. Last year, I crossed off one of my biggest and favorite accomplishments – buying a house.
It was a dream come true and I still can’t believe my house is MY house. It’s an amazing feeling. The process of buying a house scared me because I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even know what the first step was to buy a house. Thankfully, I married a real estate broker so the process was as easy as 1, 2, 3.
I know many people are in the same boat I was when buying a house. It seems like such a scary process but it’s very simple. I broke down the process in ten easy steps to walk you through buying your first home.
Are you Ready?
Are you Financially ready? In addition to your Down payment you will may have closing cost, inspection fee & appraisal fee to include in your budget.
Are you down payment ready? Some loans offer 0% down payment such as VA and USDA loans, while FHA is typically 3.5% and conventional ranges from 3%-20% of the sales price.
Are you credit score ready? Typically, your lowest score should be above 620 to be able to obtain financing. However, there are lender programs out there that will accept credit scores as low as 575 if you shop around.
Hire A REALTOR®
Realtors have vast resources and knowledge of the local markets. They’re working for you and will guide you through contract forms, financing, inspections, marketing price and negotiating. Look at them as the quarterbacks of the real estate industry and will help guide and give you advice on every step in the real estate process. If you have any questions about the process, they will have an answer!
If you’re needing more info, check out this Capital One Home Loans “What to Expect Brochure” for great tips and info on the process.
Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval
To deliver a next-generation banking experience for homebuyers, Capital One Home Loans has launched a completely re-imagined, personal and digital home loans experience. Available in select markets, this new home loan experience allows customers to pre-qualify for a home loan in minutes from any device, apply online, upload documents and digitally track progress from application to closing. It also includes personalized service from a dedicated loan officer when a customer needs it.
Getting pre-approved will help you determine your price range so you can avoid looking at home you cannot afford. Use this Capital One Home Loans Mortgage Loan Calculator as a tool to help determine how much your mortgage will cost. Typically, pre-approvals can last up to 90 days. Once your Pre-approved you’re ready to submit offers. This will determine your down payment options. Some loans offer 0% down payment such as VA and USDA loans, while FHA is typically 3.5% and conventional ranges from 3%-20%
Look at Homes
This is the fun part! Look at homes that you love and homes you wouldn’t ever think about moving in to. Take notes about the houses and note what you love and hate about each. No one can know for 100% certainty what will happen to housing values so, choose a home that meets your needs and priorities.
Prepare to make an offer
Once you find a home to place an offer on discuss with your lender about your mortgage options and closing cost on that property. Closing cost vary by market and lender, but typically range from 2-3% of the sales price. Discuss with your REALTOR® Price and Terms of your offer
Make an Offer
The offer not only includes price, but also terms. Terms can represent thousands of dollars of additional value or cost to buyers.
Get a Home Inspection
An Inspection is critical for uncovering home issues that are in need of repair or replacing. A REALTOR® will advise you to make the contract contingent on a satisfactory inspection by including an inspection period. This will allow you the unrestricted right to terminate the contract and the leverage to re-negotiate price/terms and/or ask for repairs.
Finalizing the Loan
You and your lender will work closely together to finalize the loan. This process includes updating or confirming information similar to when you were getting pre-approved.
This is typically done at a Title Company. The closing process is also known as the settlement day. Once your lender has given you the clear to close they will prepare the closing documents for you and the seller to sign. Once both parties sign the lender will fund you are now Home Owners.
Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Don’t forget to switch over your utilities & change your address. Let the decorating begin!
Buying our first home together was not just an item to cross of my bucket list but something I will remember for the rest of my life. The process was amazingly simple and much easier than I could ever imagine. If you’re thinking about purchasing your first home, follow the 10 steps I mentioned and reach out if you have any questions!
Have you been through the home buying process? What was your experience?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.