Now that you have been thinking about buying a house, it is time to start doing some research. This process can be simple if you know where to begin. Here are a few things to do when preparing for your home search:
Analyze the Current Housing Market
It is important to buy a house when it is the right time. The housing market will have an impact on your home buying process, so research what others are saying about the current trends in your area. Evaluate past trends, and compare them to the homes that are currently for sale. Try looking at houses that have been listed within the past few weeks.
It sounds complicated, but there are so many articles from news sources out there that discuss the housing market. Anyone who spends just a little bit of time doing their own research will get a good idea of their local and national real estate market conditions.
Start Looking at Home Marketing Sites
Start looking at sites like Zillow or Realtor.com to see what homes are currently being sold in the area. This is a great way to get started honing in on what your style and preferences are for architecture, design, cities or neighborhoods, etc.
Sometimes, we just get stir crazy and think that buying a bigger or “better” home is the natural next step. Looking at home sites will give you a pretty good idea of if you’re “just looking,” or if you are ready to pounce on something soon.
Talk to a Real Estate Agent
Once you’ve looked at some home marketing sites and you’ve decided that it really is time for you to proceed with buying a home, it is time to contact a realtor. Real estate agents will take the lead on your search and help guide you towards homes that meet all of your requirements.
Realtors don’t just show you homes and collect a commission check. They are so much more than that! They are your one-stop shop for all things houses, they have great connections with local professionals, and they have the inside scoop on practically everything!
Things Your Realtor Will Do
There are certain things you can expect your realtor to do for you. They will put you in touch with a mortgage lender, help you find homes that meet your aesthetic, geographic, and purchase price criteria, handle all paperwork, negotiate on your behalf for the best purchase price, help you purchase a home warranty and homeowners insurance, schedule your closing with a reputable title company, and so much more!
If you need a realtor to help you buy your first home, forever home, or home after retirement, Las Vegas brokerage Blue Diamond Realty is your trusted local real estate expert! If you’re not sure where to start the home-buying process, the knowledgeable and experienced realtor at Blue Diamond Realty will guide you the whole way through.
Determine Your Budget
It sounds easy, but when thinking about how much you have to spend on your home it can be daunting. However, this step is incredibly important in the house buying process. Determining your budget will give you an idea of what homes are actually within your range. It will also help you figure out what it is that you absolutely cannot live without (such as a pool or room for guests).
How Do You Determine Your Budget?
To determine your home-buying power, you should speak with a lender at a financial institution and fill out a mortgage application. This lender will run a check on you. They look at your credit report and your financial situation to get an idea of what you are able to buy, and what kind of mortgage loan you can get.
For example, maybe you don’t qualify for a conventional loan but you do qualify for an FHA loan (Federal Housing Administration). A conventional loan, by the way, is most often a 20% down payment loan. An FHA loan usually has a much lower down payment and closing costs. Many first-time homebuyers will use a Federal Housing Administration mortgage loan when buying a house since they may not have a well-established credit report. They tend to be more strict about the home inspection and appraisals, and can usually only be used on homes with a lower purchase price.
Mortgage lenders take into consideration many different factors to determine your buying power. They aren’t there to snuff you or crush your dreams. They understand that there is so much more to pay for than just the sticker price on a home. They want to make sure that, ultimately, you’ll be able to afford the purchase price, earnest money deposit, closing costs, a home inspection, property taxes, a minimum down payment or a conventional down payment, the monthly mortgage payments with your interest rate, etc. It may not be the most exciting part of the house buying process, but it is absolutely necessary before you even go out shopping for homes.
Start Going to Showings and Open Houses
Once you have your house-buying power and a realtor, you’ll be able to start looking at homes that fit within your budget. You may also consider going to open houses. By doing this, you will start to get a feel for what it will actually be like to live in certain types of homes. You can see the neighborhood, learn about the community, get an idea of what kinds of homes fit within your budget, and test what it feels like to be in different spaces.
When you go to open houses and on showings with your real estate agent, don’t worry about every little thing you see as a potential liability in the home. This over-worrying leads people to have too high of expectations, and a fear of buying. You can’t be expected to notice everything that’s wrong or come up with a solution on the spot. That’s what the home inspection is for later on in the home buying process when you decide on a home you want. After you put down your earnest money deposit, and before the sale goes through and you put down a down payment, there’ll be time to get a home inspection. Your real estate agent will likely put that contingency in your contract unless otherwise specified.
Try Staying in an Airbnb
One unique idea to find out what style of home you might be interested in is to stay in an Airbnb for a weekend. Go onto Airbnb, find an area that you like, pick out a home that grabs your interest and looks like you could potentially see yourself living in, and book it for a weekend!
This is a great way to get a feel for what you want. Sometimes, potential buyers become overwhelmed by looking at tons of homes or shuffling through crowded open houses. Booking a weekend in a home that appeals to you is a great way for you and your family to get comfortable, relax a little bit, and assess your likes and dislikes and wants and needs for your future home!
Are You Ready to Jump In?
By now, you’ve hopefully got a pretty good idea of where your house-buying process is and where it should go next! Of course, there are always more steps to take and things to learn. It’s never too soon (or too late) to start house hunting!
Once you’ve determined that it’s time to buy a house and you’ve decided what your house budget will be; it is time to contact a realtor at a financial institution for advice on how much house you can afford. Realtors will help guide house-hunters in finding homes that meet criteria and put them in touch with other vital home experts. Then, visit several homes through showings and open houses, and maybe even try staying in an Airbnb with your family for a weekend!
Wherever you are in the home buying process, regardless of if you are just starting, or if you’re stuck, Blue Diamond Realty is here to help and answer all of your real estate questions. If you’re ready to be set up with a realtor, their team is always at the ready, and they provide unmatched customer service. If you’re just starting or have general questions, hit them up, they would be glad to speak with you anytime!