If you’ve ever wanted a checklist for buying a house, look no further.
Many people think about buying a home because the idea of having a place for yourself is something a lot of people enjoy. The problem is that most people aren’t sure of the things they should do before buying a home.
Buying a home is a major investment, typically involving several hundred thousand dollars. This means you can’t mess up and buy the wrong house or get a loan you can’t afford. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when buying a house.
Use this home buying process checklist to prepare yourself for buying a home.
1. Improve Your Credit Score
One of the most important things to consider when buying a house is if your credit score is good enough. Unless you’re paying completely in cash, you’ll need a good credit score to qualify for a mortgage.
While having a good credit score is important, many people are unsure of how to raise it. It will take some time, but here are the best ways to improve it:
Pay Things On Time
The best way to increase your credit score is by paying things on time. Lenders want to see that you can manage your finances well enough to where you’re not behind on payments. If they see that you’re missing payments or pay too late, they’ll be less likely to work with you.
Don’t Hold Onto Debt
If you’re looking to show financial responsibility, you’ll want to pay off debt as soon as you can. While holding onto debt doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad borrower, your score will rise a lot quicker if you pay off the debt quickly.
Use Multiple Sources
A credit card is a common borrowing method that people use, but this is only 1 source. If you can, you should try to get multiple credit cards. This will show lenders that you’re able to manage multiple loans at once, proving your responsibility.
2. Figure Out What You Want
You need to put together a house buying checklist that outlines what you want. Some people want to get a large, 3-bedroom home. Others want a small condo that they can live in when they retire. So what exactly do you want in a home?
You have to keep in mind that buying a home will be one of the biggest purchases in your life, so you must think thoroughly about it. During this time, you should be browsing and compiling a list of homes that you think you’d be interested in.
After you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few homes, you can start looking into showings. Showings are when you visit a house and have a real estate show you around the place and describe its features.
3. Ask Questions and Negotiate
A showing is the best time to ask questions about the home. When you’re dealing with a real estate agent, they’ll often know more about the home than the owner does. This is because they do extensive research on the market and need to know everything to make a good sale.
You should be asking questions like how much the home costs, what the damages are if there some, and what has recently been renovated. You’ll be told these things during the showing, but it’s always a good idea to ask anyway.
Depending on who you’re dealing with, you might be able to negotiate the price. Many homeowners get strict when they’re working with real estate agents because the main reason they’ve hired them is to get the money they want.
In cases where you’re negotiating with homeowners, try to get the price down to where you want, but it should be reasonable. If you try to offer too little, the homeowner may be likely to just turn you away.
4. Save Money and Set a Budget
Having a savings set aside for a home will save you more money in the long run because you won’t have to borrow as much. Many buyers get trapped into mortgages that last well over 10 years and can cost anywhere between $1-2k per month, and that isn’t including utilities.
It’s best to rent something like an apartment or cheap home until you’ve built a savings account that allows you to purchase a home in full. You should at least try to get enough to where you’d only need a mortgage that lasts between 5-10 years.
Most importantly, you need to set a budget for yourself. Don’t look for homes that are out of your range because you can get stuck with a mortgage that’s too expensive. If your credit score isn’t good enough, you probably won’t be eligible for a large mortgage.
Set a budget that you know you’ll be able to afford. You should be able to pay the mortgage while affording other things, such as car payments, food, utilities, activities, etc. If you’re looking to buy a new home after you sell your current one, you can learn about listing your home before buying.
Follow This Home Buying Process Checklist
Most people want to buy a home at some point in their lives, but you can’t do so unless you follow a home buying process checklist. This guide outlines all the important things to do before buying a home, so you should take notes and start planning now.
We encourage you to start saving money if you aren’t already. Try to think of the places you’d like to live in the future and what kind of home you’d like. If you have a large family, you might want a house with several bedrooms. For those living by themselves or just their partner, a small home wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Browse our articles to get more advice about buying a home.