10 Steps to Buying a Home
Thinking of buying a home in Central Ohio? Make sure you know what to expect—whether you're a first-time buyer or a real estate aficionado. Here are the steps you need to know for buying a home.
Step 1: Figure Out What You Can Afford
Determine what you'll be able to afford in mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.
Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don't have a traditional 20% down payment doesn't mean you can't buy a home!
Before you get started, take some time to read more about the costs and expenses of owning a home, like property taxes. There's some good news, too... as a homeowner, you will actually be able to save money on your taxes through deductions that renters aren't able to claim.
Step 2: Shop for a Loan and Get Preapproved
Finding a trustworthy lender and determining what type of loan you'll qualify for will help you figure out how much home you can actually afford. Get recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to talk to at least three or four lenders before making a decision.Need recommendations for lenders in Central Ohio? Just ask me!
Step 3: Determine the Selling Price of Homes in Your Location
If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area—not just their listing price—to confirm whether you can actually afford that location.Have a particular neighborhood in Central Ohio you'd like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!
Step 4: Find an Agent
You don’t have to work with an agent—but it is extremely recommended unless you are a highly experienced buyer or lawyer. Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert on real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience.Looking for an agent in Central Ohio? Find out more about my experience and how I can help you buy a home!
Step 5: Find Your Home
This is the fun part, where you get to visit open houses, tour homes, make notes, and really hone in on your perfect dream home! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn't like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh.Buying a home in Central Ohio? Start searching for your dream home today!
Step 6: Make an Offer
When you find your favorite home, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.
You may also want to consider an appraisal, that is, determining the true value of this home. You want to be certain you're not overpaying for it!
Need some tips on making an offer? I've got you covered!
Step 7: Get an Inspection
Nothing's finalized yet, so make sure you're getting your money's worth! Ask your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems. If necessary, you can request that the seller repair any issues you find.
Before you get started, take some time to read up on the home inspection and warranty process.
Step 8: Review Your Contract
Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies—that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren't still obligated to buy the home.
Step 9: Finalize Your Mortgage Approval
Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.
Step 10: Close and Pay
It's time to close! Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Finally—the keys to your new home!
Not sure what's going to be included in the closing costs? Read up so you know what to expect!
Still Have Questions or Ready to Get Started?
If you're thinking of buying a home in Central Ohio, then it's time to contact DeLena Ciamacco. I'm your local real estate expert. Not only can I answer all your buying questions, I can help connect you with the resources you need to make an informed decision so you're sure to find your dream home at just the right price. Take a look at some of the buyers resources I have to offer.