The purchase of a home is an extensive and often long-winded process. There are many things you’ll have to do as you set forth on this endeavor, even before you find the home of your dreams. In this guide, we’ll take you through a simplified step-by-step process for acquiring a home for the very first time.
10 Steps to Getting into Your Own Home
While this guide might offer a rather watered-down and simplified approach to home-buying, it will help you to know what steps you can expect to take before you begin. Let’s dive in and discuss the ten things that you will have to do (or really should do) along the way (source https://askross.ca/second-mortgages-toronto-and-gta/ ).
Step One: Check Out Your Credit Report and Score
Each year, everyone is entitled to a free credit report and score from the crediting reporting bureaus. Even if home-buying is a long way off, it never hurts to know the shape that your credit is in. Request the three free reports you’re entitled to each year and go over them thoroughly – with a magnifying glass if you have to! From there, you can:
- Ensure that all of your information is current and correct.
- Identify suspicious activity that could point toward identity theft.
- Address legitimate debts and create a plan to handle them.
With this information, you can make moves to improve your credit. This will get you better interest rates and a higher chance of approval from a lender.
Step Two: Get Familiar with the Market
If at possible, you should attend open houses in the chosen area of your new home. This allows you to get a feel for the area and understand how much homes tend to go for in the neighborhood. The prices of homes in the area might be surprisingly higher or lower than you’d initially expected! This will help you learn whether your expectations meet the area or if you need to look elsewhere, early on in the process.
Step Three: Get in Contact with a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are valuable allies to have as you pursue the goal of homeownership. They can help connect you to housing opportunities that you may have missed and will act on your behalf. Make sure to find a reputable agent, either through word of mouth or by dutifully browsing online reviews of agents in your area.
Step Four: Get Pre-Approved
At some point, you will need to choose a lender. Why not start the search by getting pre-approved through one or more lenders? This process, while not necessary, will show you how much you qualify to borrow from a chosen lender. You’ll be able to have a close idea as to how much borrowed money you will have to work with. And you can get pre-approved by multiple lenders, not just one! It never hurts to see who can offer you the best rates.
Step Five: Shop Around for a Home
With the help of your real estate agent, you should begin your search for a home. You can do this through multiple avenues, including newspaper classifieds and online listings. Your agent may be able to connect you to even more resources to help you find the right home for your situation.
Step Six: Propose an Offer
So, you’ve found the home that you want, and you’re prepared to move forward. Consult with your real estate agent to draft an offer that is both competitive and reasonable. The listing price of a home, more often than not, serves only as a starting point. Some savvy negotiations may be able to drive down the price, if only just a little bit.
Step Seven: Have the Home Inspected
Either you or a licensed inspector will be given the opportunity to inspect the home for defects and other flaws that should be brought to the buyer’s and the seller’s attention. Further negotiations might even be possible, depending on what is found during the inspection.
Step Eight: Manage the Details
If the seller has approved your offer and you’ve agreed to work together for the exchange of the property for currency, it’s time to set up the utilities and ensure the home is insured. Your real estate agent may point you toward the resources necessary to perform this important – but all too often overlooked – step.
Step Nine: It’s Time to Close
Closing day has arrived! At this time, you and the seller, as well as your respective agents will do a lot more reading to ensure that everyone agrees on the terms of the sale. It is during this time that you will establish the big move-in day. Which brings us to step number ten!
Step Ten: Move In!
The day has come, and the keys are yours! You have reached the end of your goal and are now the proud owner of your very own home. It’s time to furnish, decorate and plan your life within these walls.