Nowadays – 2011 – most home buyers start their home search online. This is unlike how our parents and grandparents did it. Today, we have access to homes for sale on the Internet and we can get mortgage rates in just a few clicks with our mouse. In our parents day they had to contact a real estate agent to show them paper copies of homes for sale and they had to go down to the bank to physically speak with the local banker. With this said, here is a brief list of some of the steps you might consider taking if you are looking at buying a home.
- Determine your financial position first
- Determine a wish list for your home.
- Pick a real estate agent
Determine your financial position first.
Believe it or not, buying a home doesn’t start with a real estate agent, it starts with conversations with mortgage lenders. You must determine what kind of loan program you can qualify for and what home price you can afford. Are you going to take advantage of low VA rates as a VET or use an 203K rehab loan from FHA? Are you going to pay points or how much downpayment will you need? How does your credit look?
Determine a wish list for your home.
It helps to determine what you want in a home before you start looking. You waste a lot of time looking at homes that don’t fit your needs – it can also be frustrating sorting through homes that are in your price range but don’t have what you want or need. Also, by putting together a list of things you want in your home you can help your real estate agent (once you pick one) get right to the types of homes best suited for you.
Pick a real estate agent.
There are a lot of steps to buying a home and real estate agents walk people through the home buyer process all the time. You don’t want to miss something as it may end up costing you a bunch of money and time. Once you get a sense of what, where, when etc. it’s time to hook up with a real estate agent. You’ll want to get an agent to represent you with submitting purchase offers and negotiating.
It’s Up To You
Do some snooping. With the Internet making home searches so easy, take some time to start looking around to see what’s out there. You need a real estate a lot less than you used to when it comes to looking homes for sale.
Hopefully this list will help you through the early stages of looking for a home.