When you purchase a home, you may, as a first-time buyer, be overwhelmed by all the paperwork and fees involved! If the appraisal comes in lower than your offer price, your real estate agent can provide the best guidance for what to do next. Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these 10 steps can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible.
Make sure to have a history of timely payments that goes back at least 12 months – preferably 24. Also, don’t apply for new credit for several months before home-shopping; too many inquiries can reflect poorly on your credit score. When you make an offer on a house, the seller may accept it or counter-offer, and then your agent will help you decide how and if to negotiate.
Putting less down often, but not always, requires you to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) , which increases your monthly housing cost but is tax deductible. For second or third viewings, take an expert or realistic mate to give their honest opinion of the property and price.
Do not rely on your sellers, real estate agents, or other non-attorney third parties to explain the restrictions and obligations contained in these documents. An astute agent, prior to showing any house, will prepare the buyer for the ultimate purchase. Real estate agents may try to leverage (manipulate) this couple tension to their advantage – like getting you to buy beyond your means or buy NOW because other offers are on the table.
Consider putting an expiration time on your offer if you or your agent think it makes sense for that situation. Once you’ve found a home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer, usually through an estate agent. Sometimes, a seller can accept an offer, but with contingencies.