How the Homebuyer Process Works

Are you itching to become a new homeowner, but don’t know where to start? It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’re a first time homebuyer, but if you take everything one step at a time, the process of buying a house will become a lot less intimidating.

While the homebuyer process won’t necessarily look the same for everyone, it’s good to use the following 10 steps as a general blueprint for how to buy a home.

1. Educate yourself. 

The first step any homebuyer should take is to become more informed about the process in buying a house, just like you’re doing now!

In addition to reading the articles in our Learning Center detailing what first time homebuyers should know, you can register for homebuyer education courses either online or in person. Courses typically only take one or two days, and some of them even provide benefits like down payment and closing cost assistance once you’ve earned your certificate of completion.

2. Check your credit.

It’s difficult to buy a house with bad credit, so it’s important to make sure that your credit reports properly reflect your good spending habits. Credit reporting agencies make mistakes sometimes, and failure to address those mistakes in time may end up costing you the opportunity to buy your dream home.

Before you let a mortgage lender check your credit, get a free credit report and look it over on your own. If you see anything that looks wrong, you can dispute it by contacting your credit bureau and whatever business reported the incorrect information.

If you have a low credit score or no credit history at all, you will not qualify for a conventional mortgage loan. Luckily, this is where BuyHouseEZ can help you become a homeowner, as credit scores are not needed when applying for our alternative home financing program.

3. Determine your budget. 

Before you begin shopping for a home, it’s important to have a general idea of what you can afford. The best way to determine a realistic budget is to meet with a loan officer who reviews your income and credit and can provides you with an estimate on the loan amount, you’re likely to be approved for. This will give you a rough idea of what houses are within your price range.

4. Find a qualified agent.

As a first time homebuyer, there’s sure to be a lot you don’t know about the buying process. It’s only natural that you’ll have a lot of questions throughout each step, and you’ll need a good real estate agent to answer all of those questions.

As you choose your partner for the homebuyer process, bear in mind that different agents have different skill sets. You’ll want to find someone who has plenty of experience assisting first time buyers like you. The agent you work with can make or break the experience of buying a house, so don’t hesitate to be picky and shop around before making a commitment.

5. Choose the home you want.

After hiring an agent, you’ll have access to their extensive knowledge of the houses on the market. It’s time to find the one that’s best for you!

Before you start house hunting, it helps to make a list of the qualities you want in a home, such as size, layout, neighborhood, and outdoor space. While you won’t necessarily find a home with every feature on your list, having an idea of what’s most important to you makes it much easier to narrow down which properties are worth looking at.

6. Make an offer. 

Once you’ve picked out the home you like best, it’s time to make an offer on it. Be aware that you don’t necessarily need to pay the full listing price. If there isn’t a lot of competition, your agent may be able to help you negotiate a deal with the seller.

Your agent may also recommend that you include contingencies in your offer. A contingency is a condition that the seller needs to meet—such as making repairs to certain parts of the property—before you fully agree to buy a house. If you make an offer with contingencies and those contingencies aren’t met, you can back out of the deal with no negative consequences.

7. Take out a mortgage. 

After your offer gets approved and you know how much money you’ll need to buy your home, it’s time to secure your home financing. If you meet the criteria for a traditional mortgage, you can and should shop around to find your ideal lending platform for home buying.

If you don’t qualify for a conventional or government-backed home loan, the BuyHouseEZ program may be your best home financing solution. We offer alternative home loans for properties as low as $50K and as high as $250K, with exceptions made on a case by case basis. This program is ideal if you are buying an affordable home, starter home, and/or you’re a first-time homebuyer, foreign national, TAX-ID, ITIN or self-employed.

8. Have the property inspected.

Even a house that seems perfect at first may be hiding problems that make it not worth buying. This is why it’s critical to arrange for a home inspection before you close on the sale.

Paying for the inspection is usually the buyer’s responsibility but doing so definitely worth the investment. Hidden damage can end up costing a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars down the line, so it’s important to be aware of the condition of a house before you commit to buying it.

9. Insure your home.

While it may feel strange to take out homeowners insurance before you officially own a house, most mortgage lenders will require you to complete this step before you close. The policy will then become effective immediately upon closing.

Different homeowners insurance policies offer different levels of coverage, so it’s important to choose the plan that best meets your needs. In addition to looking into what is and isn’t covered under a policy, you should also research how you’ll be reimbursed if damage does occur.

10. Close on your new home!

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, all that’s left to do is close. Do one final walk-through to check that the property is in good shape, and then you’ll be ready to complete the final step of the homebuyer process.

After paying closing costs and signing some paperwork, you’ll officially be a new homeowner!

Ready to get started?

Let BuyHouseEZ guide you through every step of the homebuyer process. Our team of home buying experts specializes in assisting first time buyers, including those who don’t qualify for traditional mortgages, and we’re eager to help you make your dreams of homeownership come true. Contact us now to take your first step towards buying a house.

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