Having a checklist is a great way to ensure that you avoid mistakes and oversight by laying out a clear plan and set of strategic steps to monitor progress. Here are some basic steps to consider when you are ready to purchase your first home:
Find a Realtor
It is important to note that you are not required to have a realtor or real estate agent when you purchase your home. However, a Waltham realtor can make it much easier to find a home that is perfect for you. Real estate professionals are trained in every aspect of the home buying process. They are there to assist you find a property that fits in your budget and seal the deal at closing. They have your best interest at heart and will advise you on your offerings.
Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford
A lender will only offer you the amount that you can afford to pay monthly towards your mortgage. Knowing how much you can spend on a house is a good way to narrow your home search. Having this figure prepared allows your Waltham real estate agent to find you properties that fit your budget. The first step would be to have an understanding of your DTI ratio and how a monthly mortgage payment will fall into your budget.
Find a Mortgage Lender & Get Approved
Next on your list should be getting preapproved for a mortgage. Having a preapproved mortgage gives you an idea of how much house you can afford, your interest rate, and the type of loan program you qualify for. This is also a great tool to show your real estate agent and the seller that you will not have trouble finding funding for your home purchase.
Begin The House Hunt
Now that you have your pre approval in hand, you can now start house hunting. You may have seen for sale signs while driving around the neighborhood in Waltham, but nowadays most properties are listed virtually. Your Waltham real estate agent will also have access to real estate databases to find more in depth information depending on what you are looking for. Real estate professionals are experts in your local housing market and may have additional insider knowledge on which homes you may like.
Having clear communication with your real estate agent is vital to ensure that you are finding a property that offers all the qualities that you are looking for. That will provide them with other aspects to consider when they narrow the list of properties to show you.
Gather Your Documentation
It never hurts to be proactive when you are on the hunt for a new piece of property. You will need to submit financial documents to your mortgage lender, so you should have it on hand.
These required documents include:
Proof of ID
Your Last 2 Months of Income
Proof of Funds for the Down Payment & Closing
Your Last 2 Years of Tax Returns, Bank Statements or Investment Account Statements
A Recommendation Letter
Make An Offer
Once you have gotten through the first five steps you are now ready to put into an offer on a property that you like! It can be a difficult decision when it comes to how much you should offer. So, it is best to refer to your professional real estate agent as they will gather local property values and other sales data. They will also draw up an offer letter and submit it for you.
Conduct a Home Appraisal & Inspection
After you reach an agreement with the seller, it is time for the appraisal and the inspection. Appraisals and inspections vary in a few important ways. An appraisal only gives you an estimate of how much your home is worth. They look at factors such as overall property value in the neighborhood and the general conditions of the property. A home inspection on the other hand, gives you a more in depth look into the inner workings of your home. During the process a home inspector will take a walk through of your property and test things.
Close on The House
After your home has passed inspection and undergoes an appraisal, you are ready to close. Closing involves signing all the necessary paperwork on your mortgage and taking control of the property. Before closing you will get documentation from your mortgage lender called a Closing Disclosure. These documents will include the final terms of the mortgage loan, what you owe in closing costs, and your interest rate.
Contact Hans Brings Today!
If you have decided that the time is right for you to purchase your first home then make sure that you do not go through the buying process alone. Contact Hans today to get insight of the current market conditions to ensure that you get the best deal possible! Get in touch with Hans by giving him a call at 781-891-9993 or by filling out a contact form here.