As the housing market continues to improve and financial institutions expand their lending, more and more people are looking to buy their first home. A recent report by REALTORS found that first-time buyers accounted for nearly one-third of all residential property sales in 2016. Analysts believe this trend will continue in unison with the real estate market. If you are one of the many who are are looking to purchase a home, you might be wondering what is the home buying process and how does it work. Let's jump right in.
What is the Home Buying Process?
Analyze Your Budget... and Credit
Before you begin scouting prospective homes and making offers, you should first determine exactly how much you can afford. There are many tools that can help you calculate monthly mortgage payments based on the home's sale price, such as our Mortgage Calculator. You enter the sale price of the home, length of the mortgage, interest rate and down payment, after which it reveals your monthly mortgage payment. Keep in mind that these tools only provide an estimate; there's no way to determine exactly how much you'll pay without breaking down the specific details of the mortgage.
Additionally, you'll want to check your credit history to ensure there are no erroneous marks or otherwise red flags that may deter lenders from issuing you a mortgage. You can pull a free credit report once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Connect with a Real Estate Agent
After analyzing your budget and credit, you should connect with a top-notch real estate agent. Don't just choose any agent, but instead ask for recommendations by friends or family members who've recently purchased a home. You can also look online for a local real estate agent, checking for credentials, experience and past client reviews. The right real estate agent will go a long ways in helping you find the perfect home.
Find Your New Home
Now you are ready to begin the process of searching for a home. A buying agent's duty is to represent your best interest. This means that he or she should always seek the best deal while ensuring the home meets your vision. After finding a potential home, the agent may ask you to visit it during an open house. Be sure to use this opportunity to ask any questions that you have. What are the property boundaries, school zones, utilities, recent renovations, etc.
Once you've found the perfect home, you and your agent should agree on an offer. The seller will then either accept your offer, or he or she will counter with their own offer. After agreeing on a sale price, you and your agent should make an earnest money deposit in good faith to secure the property.
This article was brought to you by Premier Island Properties - A full service real estate firm serving Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina. For more real estate news, information, and interesting facts about the Lowcountry, please visit our website.
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home
- What You Should Know About Home Buying Closing Costs
- Do I Need a Realtor to Buy a Home?
- What is the Home Buying Process?
- The Benefits of Buying a Home
- How to Buy a Home with Bad Credit
- Buying Your First Home - What You Need to Know
- What is MLS in Real Estate?
- What is Loan to Value in Real Estate? (LTV)
- What is Escrow in Real Estate?