Are you thinking about buying your first home in the Birmingham area? The process can seem overwhelming for a first-time buyer, however, it doesn’t have to be!
Before you start house hunting, learn the process! Our latest post will outline the process, so you can enjoy a smooth and simple transaction.
Start researching as soon as you decide you want to buy a home
Track homes you like. Keep track of what they are selling for and how long they are staying on the market. Look in nearby areas as well. No many how many professionals you have working for you, having this information will provide you with confidence and purchasing power throughout your transaction. Don’t simply rely on the word of others, pull data and see for yourself what is going on in your market.
Think about funding
How much can you realistically afford? Which type of loan will best meet your needs? If you have 20% to put down, a traditional loan will work. However, an FHA loan will only require 3% down. There are also VA loans, USDA loans, and other options you should look into before you decide which type of loan to pursue. Now is also the time to get your credit score in check, and prepare yourself to qualify for the loan you are seeking.
Find a lender
Once you know which type of loan you want, it is time to shop around for the right lender. Don’t go with the first you find. Get loan offers from multiple lenders and brokers and see who will give you the lowest interest rate. Taking the time to shop now, will save you thousands in interest down the road. Once you have found the lender you want, go through the application process to get prequalified. Getting prequalified is key. Nothing like finding the home of your dreams, only to find out you don;t qualify for the loan.
Find the right agent
Just like shopping for a lender, you will want to take a look at a few agents in your area. A great agent will come to you highly referred, boast several 5-star reviews online, and will be punctual and professional for your calls and meetings. They should be extremely knowledgeable about the area and the market. Don;t settle for the first agent you speak to. Call a few and pick the one who can offer the most insight and information.
Now the fun begins. Your agent should know your budget and what you are looking for. A great agent will stay within your parameters and be able to find multiple properties to show you right away. Take a look at a few homes, and know what to look for as far as red flags. Keep your options open and don’t rush into the first home you see. However, if you believe you have found your dream home, you might want to act quickly before someone beats you to the offer stage. You wouldn’t want to lose your dream home because of some hesitation!
Once you have found the home you want, and have made an accepted offer, you will want to have an inspection done. Offers are typically contingent on the results of the inspection. If major repairs are needed, this contingency allows the potential buyer to cancel their offer. Your realtor will help you set up the inspection. Once the results are provided, you can negotiate with the seller about the necessary repairs.
Before your loan is finalized, you will need to have an appraisal done. The lender will insist upon this in order to ensure that you are making a smart purchase with their money. You will also need to complete the final qualification processes as applicable.
The closing process consists of a lot of paperwork and signed loan documents. However, once the seller has the check in hand, you are ready to move into your new Birmingham home!