So, you’ve decided you want to be a homeowner, but maybe it’s your first time and you’re not quite sure when you ought to start searching for one. You’ve heard that interest rates change, home values fluctuate, and that the real estate market is always on the move. But it is because of this environment of uncertainty that you should consider starting your home search: As Soon As Possible.
The reasoning behind this is because whatever you see in the market now might very well be different by the time you decide on home, begin the home buying process, and actually get the keys to your house. It sounds straight-forward, but it isn’t without its potential twists and turns, and on average it can take as long as a whole year or more of repeating the process of searching before you land on a house you’re truly set on.
The Home Buying Process: Seeking a Mortgage and Assessing Financials
Once you’ve made the decision to buy a home, the first step you’d want to consider is determining if you can qualify for a mortgage and if you can get pre-approved for one. It is also in this step that you will discover if you need to do things like improving your credit, seeing if you can qualify for enough funds, or if you need to start building up your savings further.
But once you’ve figured out your personal finances and you know that you can qualify for a satisfactory amount, it is then time to go house hunting. Time to hit the listings!
Searching the Listings
It might sound as simple as hopping on Zillow and doing some searching around for Houses for Sale. But there are some things that you may want to be careful about while looking at the countless houses that you’ll likely be browsing through. Keep an eye out for home details such as amenities that you’re looking for, tax liens that might be sitting on the home, and even the quality of the schools in the home’s school district. Want central air conditioning for your home? Is this property in need of a lot of renovation? A lot of real estate searching sites give you details such as these, and often the sellers will include details like these to inform you of what you may be getting yourself into. Pay attention also to the photos that are posted for these homes—a home seller that’s not afraid to show you pictures of the house all throughout is probably a safer bet than one who only shows you an image of the front porch.
Find an Appropriate Real Estate Agent
This step is probably the easiest. Once you’ve found a house that you’re really keen on, your next step should be to find and contact a real estate agent who can help you with learning more about open houses for the property as well as scheduling a private tour so that you can get a better feel for the house. While you could try taking on the process on your own, a real estate agent may be of assistance when it comes down to negotiations on the property, inspections of the house, and helping with paperwork. A real estate agent can help you all-around in making sure that you don’t stumble on any of the steps in the process, making the homebuying process a little smoother, especially for a first-time buyer.
The Final Steps
By this point, you should already know what kind of mortgage loan you can qualify for and will have the information you need to make an offer to the home seller. Should they accept, you will need to conduct an inspection, finalize and secure your mortgage funds, and at last make the move to buy your new home.
On average, a prospective homebuyer may go through around 10 houses before truly settling on one. If you are a first-time homebuyer, do not feel pressured to go for the first home you fall in love with. The truth is, there are a lot of wonderful homes out there that need a good owner, but you should find the one that you’re really going to enjoy for potentially many years. As was said earlier, the home buying process can take as long as a year (or longer) because of both the changes in the market as well as your quest to find the home that makes a real impression on you.
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Before you set off on the journey to find your first or next home, it’s best to find out what mortgages you can qualify for before you start looking for that house. But there are tons of mortgage lenders out there, and finding the right mortgage can also take time, time that you’d rather be spending looking at homes. With TopResearched, you can skip the tedious runaround and find the absolute best mortgage providers in and around your area right here on our site. Our research team uses high standard ranking criteria to ensure that only the top mortgage providers ever show up on our curated lists.