Home Buying Checklist: A Survival Guide for Buyers
It is a dream come true to have a lovely home that you can consider your own. The process of making the greatest purchase of your life might seem intimidating, but homeownership brings stability, security, and safety. Many first-time homebuyers choose to maintain renting when faced with uncertainty rather than starting the process of buying a house. However, things don’t have to be this way.
Understanding the numerous moving pieces of the house purchasing process is vital as you work toward your goal of becoming a homeowner. This house purchasing checklist will help you make sure you’ve covered all the bases by breaking down the challenging process of becoming a homeowner into manageable stages. Let’s get going.
1. Be aware of your budget
The first item on the home-buying checklist is figuring out how much house you can afford; by creating a realistic budget, you’ll reduce stress over time and be better able to focus your home search.
Be sure to build some breathing room into your budget, so you have money to spend on activities you enjoy and any emergencies that may arise.
2. Find a real estate agent you trust
A real estate agent will be with you every step during the home buying process and will offer expert knowledge of the local housing market. They can advise on whether a home is listed at a fair asking price, what to make of the home inspection, assist in the negotiation process, and explain the paperwork involved in the closing process.
Find a real estate agent who listens to you, understands your goals and needs for buying a house, and has the resources to help you succeed. Ask your friends and family for referrals to an agent they’ve worked with and felt did an excellent job representing their interests. If you’re moving to a new area, look at online reviews and see who you think would be best to represent your interests and who will take the time you need to find your perfect house.
Be sure you are comfortable with the person/firm you choose – the home buying process can be stressful, and having an expert by your side who has your best interest in mind is imperative. They’ll guide you through many of the later steps in the home buying checklist.
3. Discover the area and neighborhoods you’d like to live in
Explore different neighborhoods and locations to get a feel for whether you would like to live there. Surprisingly, many people overlook this key consideration in the home buying checklist before they start looking for a home. When you take the time upfront for this exploration, you’ll be able to watch for houses in those areas that meet your criteria – rather than jumping at what might be the right house in a location where you don’t want to live.
Look for local amenities and services that support your lifestyle, such as a school, hospital, grocery, other retail shopping, or public transit. Drive around at different times to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Check it out during the week, on weekends, and during the day and evening.
4. Know what to look for and find your perfect home
Once you have zeroed in on a neighborhood or area you like, figure out what the perfect home for you looks like. Do you love Mid-Century Modern-style houses or prefer Victorian-style houses? Are you looking for a single-family home or a condo? Front porch or back deck? The options are endless.
You’ll also want to decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you prefer and the overall square footage of your ideal home. Don’t worry about every nook and cranny of the home.
Now that you’ve set your search criteria and started looking for a home, you’ll want to make a list of the “required” and “nice-to-have” home features before you begin your home tours.
5. Employ a lawyer and Surveyor
Too many inexperienced real estate investors make the error of attempting to complete the process on their own without consulting a professional. This is a formula for disaster because there are several procedures that can only be facilitated by a surveyor and a lawyer. You can purchase a home with a faulty title or one that is involved in litigation, and by the time you learn about it, it might be too late. In order to safeguard your interests, a lawyer and surveyor will know exactly what to watch out for.
There are many moving parts to consider when you’re looking to buy a house. When you understand the basics, you’ll be in a good position to successfully navigate the actual house purchase. The trip to homeownership may seem daunting, but with this home buying checklist, you’ll be in control and be a homeowner in no time.