Buying a home, especially your first home, can be one of the most exciting and proud moments of your life – but it can also be stressful and overwhelming if you aren’t careful.
More than likely, purchasing a house is the largest and most significant transaction you will carry out in your lifetime. Not only does it involve a large sum of money, but also a variety of complicated processes, contracts, clauses, etc. In order to save your sanity (and potentially your financial well-being), it is of the utmost importance to stay organized throughout the process – and what better way to do so than by starting with a list?
So that is exactly what we’re going to help you do – we’ve created a list, just for you. Read below to find out what we think are the most important things to do before buying a home.
1. Get Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage
Getting preapproved is an important step in the home buying process – it outlines exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new home. While it is not a perfect guarantee that you will be approved for a mortgage of that size, it would take a rather large change to your financial situation for the preapproved rate to be denied when applying for the mortgage itself.
To get preapproved, you will need to visit your lender of choice (or multiple – shopping around is never a bad idea!) with the same documents you will need when applying for the mortgage: pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, credit report, etc.
2. Choose A Real Estate Agent
While it is not a legal obligation to hire a real estate agent, it only seems logical that you would want someone educated and experienced in the business to aid you with the biggest transaction of your life.
Purchasing a home involves more than just falling in love with a house, writing a cheque, and swapping keys. There’s paperwork (tons of it), legal agreements, and negotiations, all of which the agent can handle for you; not to mention their expertise on the housing market, knowledge of the neighborhoods, and their beneficial networks.
Why wouldn’t you hire a real estate agent?
3. Hire (Or At Least Consult With) A Lawyer
There is the potential for a variety of legal issues to arise during the home-buying process, and without a lawyer it can be easy to fall victim to either intentional or unintentional problems.
In order to avoid any unplanned bumps in the road (bumps that have the potential to be financially devastating), we suggest you get a lawyer – a real estate lawyer to be specific. They know the ins and outs of all of the agreements, contracts, and clauses that buying a home entails and can ensure you come out of the deal with nothing to worry about aside from what curtains you want to hang in your new home.
Bonus – Consider a Pre-Inspection
Most of us make purchases based on emotions, impulse, and usually that first impression pulling us towards that something we begin to fall in love with … and then we swallow the price tag. Having a house presented with a “Pre-Inspected” tag will surely help the buyer to make that decision, but like with everything else, it’s a could be a gamble for the real estate agent and his client.
There is some debate as to the necessity of these pre-inspections (after all, you as a buyer and/or your bank may still require an inspection), and while not as critical as our first three points, this one truly favors the buyer. If a buyer and/or agent has gone to the trouble of a pre-inspection, consider this an extra vote of confidence in your purchase.
Happy House Hunting!
Once you’ve got your preapproval, your real estate agent, and your real estate lawyer in order – you are more than prepared to start searching for your dream home.
While it may seem like bothering with all of this may seem a tad overboard, it will make your home-buying process run as smoothly and problem-free as possible. This way you can simply enjoy the process, and your new home, with no worries.