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9 Very Easy Steps to “Buying a Home”

Step 1. Examine Your Finances

One of the first home buying steps should always be a good review of one's financial situation. You can bet that a mortgage lender will put your finances under the microscope, so you should do the same.

Step 2. Get Pre-Approved

There are actually two home buying steps rolled into one here, but they’re so closely related I've listed them together. Our next step to buying a home will be choosing a mortgage lender and getting pre-approved. Pre-approval will help you immensely during the home buying process. For one thing, it will show sellers that you are serious about buying their home (and financially capable). This can make a big difference in whether or not they accept your offer.

Step 3. Find A Real Estate Agent

Continuing along in our steps to buying a home, we will need to find a qualified real estate agent to help us through the remaining home buying steps. The home buying process can move pretty fast, and there's a lot at stake financially. So having a skilled agent on your side can help you avoid making costly mistakes, especially if it's your first time buying a home.

Step 4. Choose A Neighborhood

Some buyers will neglect this particular home buying step, rushing off to look at houses without doing the proper research on neighborhoods. Which neighborhood you choose is almost as important as which home you choose. Neighborhoods have a direct influence on quality of life, social and recreational satisfaction, property values, commute time, educational opportunities and more. So doing a little neighborhood research is a crucial step to buying a home.

Step 5. Start House Hunting

Let's review our home buying steps up to this point. You've got your finances in order, been pre-approved for a certain type of mortgage, found a good agent, and narrowed your search to a few select neighborhoods. Excellent! You're ready for one of the most exciting steps to buying a home -- the house hunting process.

Step 6. Make An Offer

Once you find a home you like, you'll need to make an offer on it. For this home buying step, work closely with your agent to determine a reasonable offer amount based on recent, comparable sales in the area (referred to as "comps").

Step 7. Get A Home Appraisal Or Ask Your Realtor For A Comparative Market Analysis On The Home You Want To Buy

To be honest, there's not much you need to do for this next home buying step. Your lender will arrange for the appraisal if it is required, and you basically have to stand by and watch (while hoping that the home appraises for the price you've agreed to pay). Your Realtor will more than likely have a list of comparables on hand and will be able to give you a very good idea of the current market value of the home.

Step 8. Get A Home Inspection

The main home inspection is one of several inspections you should have done on the home. A home inspection is an important home buying step that should not be skipped. After all, it will give you the peace of mind of knowing what condition the home is truly in.

Step 9. Release Conditions

You’re almost done! If your Home Inspection came back with flying colors and your financing was all approved by your lender…. Then you can release your conditions. After releasing your conditions, the home is officially “sold”.

Step 10. Closing/Settlement

The period between offer acceptance and the final settlement is known as escrow. You've probably heard somebody say, "My house is in escrow." During this part of the home buying process, you might have additional inspections and you'll likely have some more paperwork to finalize as you move toward the closing / settlement date. Your Realtor will be able to guide you through this process with extreme clarity and in most cases will look after getting all the documentation delivered to the appropriate parties involved.

Here's The Hottest Market Tip You’ll Ever Get...

Markets go up, markets go down and even the smartest experts can’t accurately predict when a market will peak or bottom out. The good news is if you’re buying a home as a long-term investment (and for long-term enjoyment), you’re protected from short-term changes in the market. Over time, real estate has almost always increased in value!

All you have to do is pick a home that meets the needs of you and your family. Then you’ll enjoy living in your investment as it grows in value. A home is one of the best financial decisions you can make!

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