Are you interested in purchasing a home and don’t know where to start? It is very common for people to get confused about what is involved in the home buying process. That is why a Real Estate Agent is recommended, to make sure you understand all the steps and costs that may occur as well as watch out for your best interest when choosing a property.

First step is to find a real estate agent in your area. As a buyer, you do not pay a real estate agent any fees for assisting you in finding a home. The commission for the agents comes out of the sellers proceeds of the sale.  Your agent should be able to set you up with a lender, who can go over your credit score and income to see what type of loan you may be eligible for.  There are many types of loans with different guidelines such as Rural Development, FHA Financing, VA Financing (for Veterans only) and Conventional Financing. You will want to let your lender know if you have funds available for a down payment and what amount you can afford for the monthly note. Once your lender pre-approves you for a certain price, the property search begins!

Next, let your real estate agent know what you are looking for in a home. A few examples are: how many bedrooms and bathrooms, how much land and what neighborhoods or areas you are interested in. Your agent will then begin the search for what is available with your criteria and can schedule appointments for you to view those properties. Once you find that perfect property, discuss with your agent what amount you would like to offer on the property and a contract will be written and submitted to the seller. Once the sales price is agreed upon by all parties,  a buyer will have an inspection period to make sure there are no major issues with the home such as bad roof, foundation issues, electrical issues etc. A home inspection is not required but recommended! For a fee, a licensed home inspector will do a thorough inspection on the home and present you with a report that lets you know if the home has any serious defects.

If the inspection report does not show any major issues, your lender will then order the appraisal and title work for the home. The appraisal makes sure you are not paying more than the actual value of the home. The title work, which is done by a real estate or title attorney/company makes sure there are no liens or judgments on the property and the title is clear for the property to be sold. The costs of the appraisal and title work can vary and is normally paid for by the buyer. So make sure you get an estimate of closing costs from your lender. Some loans can incorporate your closing costs in the loan but certain specifications need to be met in order for that to happen.

Once everything is cleared, the closing can take place. The closing will consist of signing all necessary lender and attorney documents to be recorded at the courthouse and the transfer of funds from lender to seller. Now it’s time to Move In to your new home!