May 18 2015 11947 1

Dated: 05/18/2015

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Buying a Home Guide to Getting Started

Buying a Home Step-by-Step

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Real estate agent discussing property documents to his clients - ONOKY - Eric Audras/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
ONOKY - Eric Audras/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Let's say one morning you wake up and realize that, yes,buying a home is the right thing to do for yourself. You're tired of throwing away money on rent and figure that it's time to get into a home of your own. But you have reservations.

After all, if it's your first time, you've got questions. You might be a little nervous that you'll mess up, and it's normal to feel that way. You are probably spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and making the most important financial purchase of your life.

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You will find that being an informed individual about the home buying process is empowering for you. Lucky for you that you came to the right place. So let's get started buying your first home!

Consider if Buying a Home is For You

Many people harbor secret fears about buying a home, and some of those fears are justified. Not everybody is cut out to own a home, and if you're one of those people, it's better to find this out now than when you're under contract.

Before Buying a Home, Get Your Finances In Order

Line up your financing, set aside a down payment and study the loan programs available.

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By doing your homework, you will know exactly how much you can pay and what it will cost you.

Pick a Real Estate Agent to Help With Buying a Home

With so much information available online, you might wonder why you need an agent at all. But all local markets vary from one another, and a good agent can guide you by giving you information based on experience and market knowledge.

Learn How to Avoid Home Buying Mistakes

The best way to avoid making a mistake it to learn from the mistakes others have made. Buying a home in a desirable location is your best defense. Remember: location, location, location.

Make an Offer and Negotiate Like a Pro

Although buying a home is not like buying a car, for example, you can still negotiate to get a good price.

Get a Home Inspection and Read Disclosures

Never buy a home without getting a home inspection. Most states have laws about the types of disclosures you are entitled to receive.

  • What a Home Inspection Covers

    Go through this list and make sure your home inspector doesn't miss anything crucial.

  • Material Facts

    Besides disclosing lead-based paint, which any home built before 1978 can contain, sellers should notify you of major defects.

  • Do a Final Walk-Through

    Always do a final inspection a few days before closing to make sure the property is in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

Closing on Your Home

Transactions generally close within 30 to 60 days after your offer has been accepted. Remember to reserve movers or a moving truck early because many people move at the end of the month.

  • Home Insurance

    Shop for insurance rates carefully. Often, the company that insures your automobiles may offer you the best policy rates.

  • Title Insurance Policy

    You might think you don't need a title policy, but it's the cheapest form of insurance you can buy, and you pay the premium only once.

  • Home Buying Closing Process

    This covers every step of the home closing process, from the beginning to the end.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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Terry Ivie

Texas Real Estate Consumer Protection Notice

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