The home buying process can be, at times, over whelming even for folks who have purchased a home before.   There have a been a lot of changes to the process in the past few years.  So here is a guide to the most important 10 steps to selecting the right home for you and your family.

1.  Do you have enough money?

The first and most important step, if you need a mortgage, is to interview a mortgage company or bank for a loan.  Interview more than one and check their loan charges.  Lending fees are a big part of a home buyers closing costs and they can vary greatly between companies.  Once you have found your mortgage company and loan officer the next  thing to do is get pre-approved for a loan.  This does 2 things; It gives you an idea of what you can afford and most sellers will want a pre-approval letter along with the offer submit on a home you wish to buy.  So this will save you time and money.

2.  Hire a professional

Hiring a Realtor to represent you is very important.  You can check them out online.   Look for a Realtor that is full time and does at least 10 or more transactions per year.  This will be a person who will guide through the process from start to finish and you want someone who has the skills to get you through the process.  Once you have selected your Realtor you’ll want to sign a Buyers Representation Agreement.  This agreement in your best interest because without it, the Realtor is working for the seller and you want them working for you, even though the seller is paying the commission out of the proceeds of the sale.

3.  What Neighborhood?

Ask your for Realtors help in locating the best neighborhoods for your lifestyle and needs.  Then focus on those neighborhoods for available homes.

4.  What are your current and future needs?

Don’t just think about the now but consider what your needs will be  1 or 2 years from now.

5.  Return on investment

When considering neighborhoods ask your Realtor about what the last years appreciation for that neighborhood.  Ask about the surrounding area. Are there significant changes around the neighborhood that effect value in the next few years?

6.  Is this your forever home?

The average home owner stays in their home on an average of 7 years.

7.  Making the offer

Your Realtor will work with to create an offer on the home.  It’s not uncommon for multiple offers and for more than asking price.  Make sure you are making you best offer first.

8.  The home inspection

When your offer is accepted and you have an executed contract, in Texas, you generally have an “Option Period”  in which you have paid a non-refundable fee for the right to terminate the contract for any reason during the “Option Period”.  This is when its best to have all of your inspections done and negotiate the repairs, if any.

9.  Appraisal

Once your file, at the mortgage company, has moved to the underwriters desk.  The underwriter will order the appraisal of the property.  This is to give the lender a value based on the professional opinion of the licensed appraiser.  The underwriter represents the lender who will actually fund the loan.

10.  Start preparing for the move

Now is the time to start making your moving plans, get homeowners insurance and utilities scheduled.

Buying a home is a process and there are lot of moving parts and a several people involved to complete a transaction, it’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t perfectly but keeping your cool and look for solutions, instead of blame and all things will work out.

Happy Trails,