10 Steps to Successful Home Ownership
If you are thinking of
buying a home, there are steps you can follow to make home ownership a success. Following these steps will
guide you through process.
1: Are You Ready? - You are ready to buy a house when you have a stable
income or job history of at least two years and money in your bank account. Make sure that your bills
don’t take more than about 30 per cent of your income.
2: Hire a Realtor – Just as you’d shop for a lender with the best
financing option, it’s good to talk to more than one realtor. A realtor commission is
negotiable, and this comission might make a difference at negotiation time. Choose the realtor that will
represent your interests best, and will be available to answer your questions and guide you throughout the
3: Get Loan Pre-approval – Some sellers may want to know that you
qualify for a house before accepting your offer and taking their house off the market. A loan pre-approval may
be obtained from your loan officer. A pre-approval is not the
same as loan approval, and you still need to go through the loan process as well as lock in an interest rate to
get final approval.
4: Search for Homes – Now the fun part begins! Your realtor can help you
find homes that fall within your price range through a multiple listing service or from her own listings, and
even help you find for-sale-by-owner properties. Be sure that you are looking at
homes from a variety of sources, and not just one realtor’s listings, so you can identify the market. Your
realtor will set up appointments to view houses and negotiate the best deal for you.
5: Choose a Home – Maybe the first house you looked at was the perfect
one, or maybe you’ve found a dozen. Be sure to choose one that you qualify for and can comfortably afford. If
you shop for a house that is just out of range, you may end up with a bad credit mortgage in order to qualify.
Your realtor can negotiate to bring the sales price down or consider a different house.
6: Get Funding – Once you have chosen a house and know the asking
price, talk to your loan officer and begin the loan application. Since you’ve been
prequalified, your loan officer has probably asked you most of the questions he needs to complete the
application. He may ask you for income and credit information so he can provide you with the best
Make an Offer - Take the emotion out of home buying, and maintain objectivity so that you aren’t strapped with a
house payment that is a struggle to make. Your realtor will write up the contract and present your offer to the
sellers. Hopefully your offer will be accepted, but if not you can choose to make a counter
8: Get Insurance - Now that you have decided on a house and a loan
program, it’s time to shop insurance. Some insurance agents work
with more than one company making shopping premium amounts easier. When choosing coverage,
get the amount that covers the replacement value of your house, not the entire property
value. Your property value includes the lot or land, and you don’t need insurance for the
9: Close the Deal – When closing your real estate transaction, you
will go to a
title company or lawyer’s office. Even most mortgage
refinance closings take place at a title company. The title agent will walk
you through all of the papers you need to sign, and your agent will be there with you too, to help answer any
questions you may have.
10: Avoid Foreclosure – Even though a mortgage refinancing may help you
lower your payment later on, it’s better to start out with a payment you can afford. By making your house
payments on time, you can avoid foreclosure.
Following these 10 steps can help you toward
successful home ownership.