How To Buy A House
The home buying process can seem complicated, but if you take things step-by-step, you will soon be holding the keys to your own home!
There are about nine steps to buying a home
- Figure out how much you can afford
- Know your rights
- Shop for a loan
- Learn about homebuying programs
- Shop for your home
- Make an offer
- Get the home inspected
- Shop for homeowners insurance
- Sign papers
Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate.
Step 2: Know your rights
Understand Fair Housing, RESPA, your rights as a borrower and avoid “predatory lending.”
Step 3: Shop for a loan
Save money by doing your homework. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, negotiate to get a better deal. Your best practice is to get pre-approved for your loan not just pre-qualified.
FHA loan programs offer lower downpayments and are a good option for first-time homebuyers.
Step 5: Shop for a home
- Choose your real estate agent
- Make A Wish list – what features do you want?
- Home-shopping checklist – take this list with you when comparing homes
- Homes for sale (including HUD homes)
- “Fixer-uppers” – home purchase and repair programs
- Manufactured (mobile) homes
- Build a home
If you choose a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA), be sure to request a copy of the HOA packet, so you can review before closing.
Step 6: Make an offer
Discuss the process with your real estate agent. If the seller counters your offer, you may need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of the sale.
Step 7: Get a home inspection
Make your offer contingent on a home inspection. An inspection will tell you understand the condition of the home, and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs.
Step 8: Shop for homeowners insurance
Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance. Be sure to shop around.
Step 9: Sign papers
You’re finally ready to go to “settlement” or “closing.” Be sure to read everything before you sign!
For other information, visit the HUD site at http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm