The home buying process has always had the air of excitement. However, the home buying journey is full of winding turns and crossroads, making buying a home difficult and complex. Unless, you are a real estate agent or a mortgage lender, deciphering the complexities of home buying is not an easy task. So, it is in your interest to be prepared for the comprehensive home buying experience. Hence, I have put together a top ten list for home buyers who are about to begin their home buying journey.

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1. Know what you can really afford

Before even contemplating buying the house, perform a monthly budget. It is important to know your finances in depth so that you truly really understand how much home you can afford. The general rule of thumb is to buy a home which is approximately 2.5 times your annual salary. You can use freely available online tool, such as mortgage calculators to increase your understanding home affordability. Discover how your income, debts, and expenses can affect what you can afford.

2. Build up your credit as needed

Before you apply for a mortgage to buy a home, make sure that your credit history is the best possible. During the months preceding your house hinting endeavor check your credit score, obtain your credit report, and perform credit repair or credit counseling to make sure that your credit is optimal for your situation. It is critical that you stay on top of the facts in your credit report and correct any problem areas

3. Obtain pre-approval before house hunting

Once you are aware of how much your home budget is and have your credit is optimized, it is time to get pre-approved for a mortgage home loan. A pre-approved mortgage will save you money and time by positioning you to make a solemn offer for the home. Pre-qualification is based on a concise review of your financial situation while pre-approval from a mortgage lender is an in-depth analysis of your real income, debt, expenses, and credit history.

4. If you have children, purchase a home in a good school district

Are all school districts are created the same? Unfortunately, no. For the majority of homebuyers with families, purchasing a home in a good school district is deeply important. In providing your kids with better schooling, you must also increase your property value when it is time to sell your home.

5. Seek a good local real estate agent

There are many good real estate agents that can help you find the best home that meets you needs. Interview several real estate agents and work with someone you like and trust. Your estate agent will be invaluable in narrowing down the choices of homes to ones that meet your criteria, thus saving you time. In this manner, you can conserve your time and not waste time looking at homes that don’t meet your requirements in all areas. Additionally, your real estate agent can be an invaluable asset during the bidding for and negotiating of home prices with the home sellers.

6. Pick the right home loan mortgage

The process of choosing the right type of mortgage can be a confusing maze. There are many choices: adjustable rate mortgages, fixed rate mortgages, subprime mortgages, interest-only mortgages, and more. How do choose the mortgage that suits your current financial situation and your long-term goals? A trusted mortgage lender or mortgage broker can offer you expert advice and personalized service. Furthermore, a personal mortgage consultant provides you competitive low mortgage rates to meet your needs. Learn more by arranging a complementary consultation with a mortgage consultant. You can find a mortgage consultant in your area by using an online mortgage directory.

7. Introduce members of your team to each other

Once you have your team in place, introduce the mortgage consultants and real estate agent to each other. Your home team should be on the same wavelength in terms of your home buying goals.

8. The home offer

Now that you have found your home and have the financing and team in place, it is time to make the offer. Before you make the offer, find how much similar homes have sold for in the neighborhood during the last 3 to 6 months. Now you will have a good idea of roughly where to start your bid. But remember to consult your real estate agent before making your offer.

9. Get a detailed home inspection

Once your offer for the home is accepted by home seller, it is time to get an extensive home inspection. The main inspections to consider are: building quality, insect, radon, termite, oil tank, asbestos, title, lead paint analysis (if house built earlier than 1980s), and etc. The home inspection may be performed once or sometimes 2 or 3 times, depending on how far-reaching the inspections are. A detailed home inspection may save you from incurring costly repairs in the future.

10. Home insurance and closing

You must get a good home insurance policy to help protect against unanticipated costs or home repairs. You are now just one step closer to your new home, only the closing stands before you. Make certain that you have all the requisite items for the closing: complete paper work and deposits, homeowners insurance, title work, and other items required under local and state laws. Of course, your real estate agent and mortgage consultant will help you during the closing.

It is official; now you are a proud homeowner, time to move in.