Buyers Guide to Purchasing a Home

Mortgage 101
Real Estate
Lets walk through all the steps between you and that dream home! Here's everything you need to know about the home buying process, from home loans to closing!
Published on
July 16, 2024
Copy link

If you have been thinking about buying a home, follow these tips to get started.

How much house can you afford?

The first step to buying a home is figuring out how much house you can afford.

There are two ways to calculate how much house you can afford: one based on your income, and another based on your savings. It is important for both methods to consider any extra cash flow that may be available, such as gifts from family or savings from previous homes. Using these rules of thumb will give you an idea of how many houses in your price range are affordable for you. However, remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to buying real estate so don’t get too hung up on any number.

Getting Your Finances in Order
Get a loan

You'll need a loan to buy your home—unless you have enough cash on hand to pay in full. In that case, you can skip this section and move right along.

There are many types of loans available, but the most common are:

  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans (HELOCs)
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
Finding a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent can be overwhelming. As you're looking for one, there are a few things to consider:

  • Who do I trust? Your agent should be responsive and trustworthy. You want someone who will always have your best interests in mind when making recommendations about buying or selling your home.
  • Does he/she have experience selling in my price range? A good real estate agent will understand what type of home you're looking for so that they can match you with homes that meet your criteria while also considering what they believe is most likely to sell in the market currently. Make sure that this person has lived in your area long enough to know what kinds of properties would sell better than others before deciding on an agent.
House Hunting

House hunting can be fun, but it's important to stay focused on your goals. If you're looking for a house in the city, it's best to spend some time browsing online listings and visiting open houses before setting foot in front of a realtor's office.

If you're planning on buying a home with more than one person (such as with friends), go together so that everyone has an equal say in the house hunting process. Once you've narrowed down your options based on location and price range, set aside time to explore them all together—this way there won't be any disagreements about which ones were good enough or whether they were worth seeing again.

If you're on a tight budget and don't want anything too fancy, then look at homes within that price range first rather than going straight for luxury real estate options out of reach for most people who aren't wealthy celebrities or business owners (which is why we'll talk about those later). It may seem like common sense but sometimes we forget what our priorities are when faced with all these beautiful houses!

Making an Offer

After you've found a home that you want to buy, your next step is to make an offer. This will help determine the terms of your purchase agreement and what happens next in the buying process.

When you make an offer on a home, it's called making an "offer to purchase." When both buyer and seller agree on those terms, they enter an "offer to purchase and sale." The offer sets out some basic information about the price of the property, which may include specific dollar amounts for each component of sale price (like land value or construction costs), as well as other details like closing dates or possession periods.

The document that contains all this information is called an "offer to purchase and sale agreement." A contract for deed is another type of legal document used by sellers who don't want their home to be financed through traditional lending institutions.

Obtain a Home Inspection and Appraisal.
  • Home Inspection
    A home inspection is a professional inspection of your home. It will be performed by a licensed inspector who will look for problems that might need repair or replacement and determine if there are any safety issues. This can be important because the lender may require an inspection before approving your loan. A home inspector can help you find problems before you buy a house, so you can negotiate with the seller on fixing those issues before closing on the sale.
  • Appraisal
    An appraisal is an opinion of value given by an appraiser who has been given specific information about the property being appraised (such as square footage, age, and condition). Usually, this process is required by lenders to approve financing for purchasing real estate; however, it’s up to each lender whether or not they require the home appraised, as well as how much weight they give toward its findings when making their decision about whether or not funding should go through.
Getting Homeowners Insurance

Most people know that homeowners’ insurance protects them from liability.

There are many different types of homeowner's policies available today and each one covers different loss scenarios. The most common are:

  • Liability coverage - This protects you from any accidents or injuries caused by you or anyone living with you on your property within reason (e.g., if they steal something). It also covers criminal acts like vandalism and arson (e.g., fire set by an angry neighbor). It can also provide protection against lawsuits related to these incidents such as libel/defamation etc...
If you have been thinking about buying a home, follow these tips to get started.
  • Start with a budget. A good way to start the process of buying a home is to create a budget, which will allow you to compare the price of homes and other properties. You should also take into consideration how much money you can afford for monthly mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and other costs that come along with owning your own home.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Having pre-approval from a lender means that they've evaluated your credit score and income to determine whether you qualify for their program—and if so, what kind of loan amount they think would be best suited for your needs (based on factors like income level). This will help prevent any surprises down the road when it comes time for closing on your property purchase!
  • Choose an agent who understands the market well and can give honest advice about listings before showing them to clients because agents work on commission so it's important not only from which agent but what type too - residential vs commercial? single family vs multi-unit?

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to get a better understanding of the home buying process and what it takes to become a homeowner. Whether you’re moving into your first home or buying your second (and third), we wish you all the best in your next big adventure!

Get started today
Whether you're actively looking, or just researching, you can find out what you qualify for and get connected with a pro.
Apply Now
Create your Real Estate Dream Team
Our financial experts can help team you up with real estate expert. They'll be in it together, making sure you're well-funded and perfectly housed in this challenging market.
Get Started Now
Latest posts

Don't Stop Here

Check out some of these related articles.

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Non-QM Mortgages in Today's Market

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards these non-QM mortgage products due to changes in borrower demographics and desire for increased flexibility in loan structuring. This blog examines the advantages and risks of non-QM mortgages, provides an overview of the mortgage requirements, and offers strategies for mitigating risk associated with these types of loans.
Read post

Stated Income Loans: Are They Right for You? A Comprehensive Guide

Discover if Stated Income Loans are the right choice for you with this comprehensive guide. Learn about the definition, benefits, and potential downsides of stated income loans, as well as who can benefit from them. Explore the qualifications needed and compare them to alternative loan options. Make an informed decision on your mortgage needs.
Read post

Understanding the Media Influence on Borrowers' Perceptions of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

Understanding the Media Influence on Borrowers' Perceptions of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) - This blog explores the role of media in shaping borrowers' perceptions of ARMs. Learn about the impact of media portrayal on borrowers' understanding and decision-making process, and gain tips for navigating media influence.
Read post