An Easy Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers
For most people, a home is the biggest investment of a lifetime. A checklist helps first-
time home buyers stay on track and simplify the selection process. Here, we will look at
the basic steps of purchasing a home.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Though it is not a legal requirement, hiring a real estate agent is a good idea when
purchasing a home for the first time. Agents are trained in all aspects of the process,
and they can help new buyers find properties that fit their budgets. Because they have
the buyer’s best interests in mind, you are sure to find the right home at the right price
when working with a real estate agent.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Lenders have tightened their requirements, and they will only offer the amount you can
safely afford to pay each month. By figuring out your debt-to-income ratio and using that
information to set a firm budget, you will narrow the search and help your agent find
properties that are in your price range.
Get Preapproved for Financing
The next step when purchasing a home for the first time is to seek mortgage
preapproval, as it helps determine how much you can afford to pay each month. The
preapproval process tells sellers and agents that the buyer is ready and able to seal the
deal, and it gives a buyer’s offers additional weight. It is crucial to note that preapproval
is different from prequalification, which determines a buyer’s creditworthiness and starts
the approval process.
Start the Search for a New Home
After getting preapproved for a mortgage, it is time to start searching for budget-friendly
options. Your real estate agent will evaluate the local housing market and offer insider
knowledge and recommendations. Once you have found a home you like, consider
scheduling a pre-purchase inspection to determine whether there are any major issues.
Make a Fair Offer and Wait for Acceptance
Next, it is time to make an offer. Coming up with a fair offer can be a challenge, but your
real estate agent will help by comparing sales data and local home values. Your agent
also may create an offer letter and send it to the seller or their representative.
Depending on the home’s condition, it may be necessary to request repairs or make the
offer contingent upon an inspection’s results. From there, the seller can accept the offer,
reject it, or make a counteroffer.
Close the Deal
After a home has been inspected and appraised, it is time to close the deal. Your
mortgage lender will provide a disclosure agreement detailing the loan’s terms, and it is
important to read this document carefully. Bring your disclosure, your ID, and the down
payment to the closing meeting. Here, you will sign the paperwork and take possession
of the property.
Buying a first home is a complicated process, but a qualified agent can help new buyers
in many ways. By setting a budget and following the other tips in this guide, you can find
a new home that meets your family’s needs and fits your lifestyle.
If you’re ready to take the next step and purchase your first home, Metro Places is the place
planned communities with new homes throughout the greater Tampa Bay and Fort Myers,
Florida, and see which is the best fit for you. Contact us to schedule a tour today.