There's a great deal more to buying a home than you might think at first. Finding the home of your dreams and making an offer is a major part, but there are steps you must take first to prepare for the purchase so that everything can run smoothly.
I don't mean spending months learning from books, manuals or attending costly seminars. I'm simply suggesting that you follow these tips and seek advice from experts:
1) Take a look at your commitment to a home. If you can't commit to staying in one place for at least two or three years, then maybe owning your own home is not a good idea at the moment. It is costly buying and selling a home, so you may lose money if you need to move again soon after.
2) Take a good look at your finances. Start by making sure your credit history is clean by getting a copy of your credit report. Check that the facts are correct and fix problems if you find any. It is best to do this a couple of months before you start house hunting.
3) You must have enough money for your monthly mortgage payment, plus breathing room so that you can get pre-approved for a mortgage, You can use one of the many online calculators to work out your income, expenses and debts, and what you can afford. Getting pre-approved saves you wasting time looking at houses you can't afford. It also puts you in a better position to make an earnest offer when you do find the house of your dreams.
4) Learn about the mortgage process and all the various different kind of mortgages. Its not necessary to put down 20% as there are numerous private and public lenders offering low down payments as well a low interest rate. Finding a satisfactory mortgage is as important as finding the right home.
5) Make a list of wants and needs. A need is something your home must provide you with, an essential, whereas a want is something you desire to have in your home.
6) Buy a property in a good school area, even if you don't have children of school age. This is a top priority for many homebuyers and will help you when you want to sell, as these houses may better hold their value.
7) Do your home work and make sure your bid is based on similar homes in the neighborhood, for example if others have sold five percent less than the asking price, your should be at least eight percent below the asking price.
8) Always hire your own home inspector, experienced in home inspections in the particular area you are planning to live. He will be able to discover potential costly problems.