Purchasing a new home can be an exciting and stressful experience for any family. The anticipation of moving into a new home, painting, and picking out fixtures are by far some of the best aspects of buying a home. At the same time, the stress of closing, dealing with reluctant sellers and passing a home inspection can at times dampen the excitement of the experience.
At Homes For Heroes, we want the home buying process to be a joyous one for our Heroes. We know that the best way to have a good home buying experience is to understand the process start to finish before you even begin searching for your next home.
We have compiled a short list of a few things to expect during the home buying process. As a Hero, we know that you never want to be caught with your guard down, and we are going to make sure that doesn’t happen during the purchase of your new home.
Start thinking about what you want out of a new home as soon as you know a move is coming. Do you need more bedrooms, a garage or an eat-in-kitchen? Make a list of your must-haves for a new home and start doing your research.
Consider how far you’d be willing to commute, what the local schools are rated and what local property taxes are. Ask yourself what your deal breakers are. Are you willing to move into a fixer-upper as long as it is in a top rated school district? Does your house need to be move-in ready, or are you willing to spend some time updating it? All of these are essential questions to consider when planning a move to a new home.
The sooner you start planning, the better. Give yourself enough time to research your intended location and ideal home. That will help the home buying process feel less rushed, and you are much more likely to love your new home in the end.
Know Your Budget
The general rule of thumb when buying a home is to keep the price of your monthly mortgage payment less than 28% of your monthly income before taxes. That amount is what lenders are most comfortable loaning. Typically, home loans are not given for any amount over that, as these loans are considered too risky.
Once you know how much you can afford, be sure to factor in any updates you may want to make to your new home. If you’re going to purchase all new appliances, go ahead and research the price of those and add that to your budget as well. Be sure to do the same with any painting, flooring, and fixtures you may want for your new home.
These costs may seem insignificant, but trust us, they add up quickly. You need to budget for every dollar you plan to spend in your new home, or you will soon find yourself scraping the bottom of your bank account.
Get That Home Loan Locked In
Once you know how much your family can afford to spend on a home and any upgrades you may want to make, it is time to start reaching out to lenders. To get pre-qualified for a home loan, lenders will want to see a few things from you.
First, they’ll perform a credit check to ensure that you have a good credit history and won’t be too high a risk. Second, lenders will ask for proof of income, recent pay stubs, W2’s and any other income verification you can provide. Those will help lenders determine your ability to pack back your home loan. You may also be asked to provide bank statements during this pre-qualifying process.
Homes for Heroes Affiliate Lending Specialists are experienced in working with and approving a variety of home loans. Sign up and let the local Homes for Heroes Affiliate Lending Specialist in your area help you through the loan pre-approval process.
After you’ve been pre-approved for a home loan, your lender will provide you with an amount that they are willing to lend you. With this amount, you can refine your home search and begin to narrow in on homes within this price range.
Get Connected With The Right Real Estate Agent
At Homes For Heroes, it is our goal to see every hero matched with a licensed, qualified and trusted real estate agent in their area. Sign up and let us connect you to the local real estate specialist in your area that you can trust to put your needs and your family’s needs first.
Working with the right real estate agent makes all the difference when buying a home. Your agent acts on your behalf when dealing with sellers and helps negotiates home cost, improvements, and closing costs.
The right real estate agent is a crucial part of the home buying process and an excellent resource for you and your family.
Find Your Home, Make an Offer
Taking all that you know about your budget, must haves and ideal location, go out and find that home! Once you’ve found it, have your real estate agent make an offer. One of the most anxious but exciting parts of buying a home is waiting to hear whether or not your offer was approved.
Having your future home inspected is one of the final steps in the home buying process. The inspection ensures that your home is free of any significant structural damage and that the electrical and plumbing systems are all up to code.
This inspection gives the seller an opportunity to fix anything that needs to be repaired and gives you, as the buyer, a chance to back out of the home purchase if the results of the inspection leave you feeling uneasy.
Appraisal and Closing
Your lender wants to know that you are paying a fair price for your home and to do so, they will contract with a third party appraiser who will assess the value of your home. Once that is completed, you are ready for closing.
At closing, you will sign all of your loan paperwork and complete your home purchase. That is the final step in the home buying process and can take a few days to complete. Once this process is done and approved by the lender, you are ready to begin moving into your home.
We hope we’ve taken a little mystery out of the home buying process for you. It’s our goal to make buying your new home a pleasant experience, and free from surprises. We are honored to serve you from beginning to end during the purchase of your new home.