Keeping it Simple: Five Steps to Home Ownership for First-time Homebuyers

The real estate process can seem complicated, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. The thought of dealing with tight inventories, financial requirements and complex negotiations can seem almost an insurmountable challenge. It’s enough to make your head spin and leave you wondering where do you start? Where do you turn next? Wouldn’t it be great if the whole process could just somehow be simplified and made more clear?

The good news is, it can. While you may not be able to avoid the stack of paperwork, you can avoid some of the anxiety that comes with it—simply by getting your head around the basic steps involved in the home-buying process. These five steps are not intended to be all-inclusive when it comes to everything that needs to be done to go from would-be buyer to new home owner. But, they can serve as a roadmap. Hopefully, if you understand the basic steps, your anxiety will decrease over what to expect next.

As an overview of the home purchase process, here are five steps to home ownership for the first-time homebuyer:

1. Begin by seeing a lender. It’s true that once you are ready to buy a new home, you can’t wait to get out and see some properties. But, before you start to look at homes, speak with a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will tell you how much spending power you have, so you won’t be looking at homes that you aren’t qualified to buy. If there are any areas of your credit that need your attention before submitting your loan application, your lender will be able to point these things out.

2. Add an agent to your team. An undertaking as significant as a home purchase takes a team effort, starting with selecting a real estate agent. As your local expert, I am able to provide you with knowledgeable, comprehensive real estate representation, from start to finish. As you go through the process, other professionals will join your home-buying team of experts, including your lender, inspectors, an appraiser and closing attorney.

3. Your offer is submitted. It’s now time to view properties. Once you’ve identified a property you want to buy, you will submit an offer to purchase. As your agent, I will assist you in c your offer and take care of all the necessary paperwork as well as submitting the offer to the seller’s agent.

4. Complete paperwork. Once you have an accepted offer, you can expect a lot of paperwork, both to sign and to review.  You will need to meet any requests from your lender for additional documentation. You will have an inspection report to review and possibly more negotiations to undertake. This is also when you’ll need to secure a homeowners insurance policy. You’ll receive closing documents to receive prior to closing.

5. Close on your new home. The big day will arrive. Your successful closing will mean all of the team coming together. Once complete, you will be the owner of your new home.

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