If you are contemplating buying a home in 2020, it’s important to understand the home buying process. It will take a lot more research than buying a new iPhone and a lot more consideration. A home will most likely be the largest purchase you make in a lifetime, but when you’re ready to begin, here are some simple steps to take.
Do Some Research
It may be a year or more down the road before you are actually ready to buy a home, but it’s never too early to start doing some research. A good place to start is by searching homes available in your desired area online. This will help you get an idea of what type of home you can get in your price range. Use this time to put together a list of priorities for your new home. You should group priorities into “must-haves” and “would like to haves.” It is not always possible to get everything you want at a price you can afford. Learn what you can and can’t live without.
Do the Math
Most people who are purchasing a home will need a mortgage loan. You need to know what you can afford and understand the types of loans available. Be realistic about your financial situation. Now is the time to get pre-approved, or even better yet pre-qualified, for your home purchase. Some prospective home buyers will need to work on repairing their credit score, or realize they need to save more money for a down payment. Use the next few months to address financial issues, get preapproved for a loan, and get ready to go shopping.
Find a REALTOR®
Many home buyers think they can find a home, negotiate for a home, and close on a home on their own. This would be a terrible mistake. Most of the time a REALTOR® does not cost a home buyer anything, and their knowledge, expertise, and negotiation skills will be invaluable to you as a buyer. Get referrals, research candidates, interview agents and request references if it will give you peace of mind, but most important, choose a REALTOR® that you will enjoy working with. Sometimes, finding the perfect home takes a while.
You now know what you can afford, what you must have, and have an experienced and trusted partner to help in your home search. Go to open houses, make appointments and see as many homes as you need. Don’t feel rushed and realize that a home search may take a while. Buying a home is a long-term investment, and a very special one. When your dream home comes along, you’ll know it!