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An Easy Checklist for Buying a Home

Posted: July 12, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Alan Tucker

Buying a home is the American dream, but it is also the biggest investment you will ever make.  Going into this transaction without the proper knowledge is a recipe for disaster.  You want to make sure you know all the ins and outs of the process of buying a home along with homeownership.  Follow this easy checklist to help you along the way.


What you need

·      Money for your monthly mortgage payment. 

·      Enough monthly income to pay the added expenses of property taxes and homeowners insurance (you didn’t pay these as a renter).

·      The ability to keep the property in good repair.  You don’t want to lose money on your investment by not maintaining it. 

·      A decent credit record.  Unless you’re planning to pay in cash the full price, your credit score will be a big factor.


So these are the factors you want to consider before you begin the process of buying a home.  If you are unsure of any of that, this might not be the time to buy.  If you are able to work these things into your income, now is the time to invest in home ownership.  Here are your next steps:


What can you afford?

Find a mortgage calculator online and answer everything honestly to see how much monthly payment you can afford.  This will also help you to factor in things such as taxes, homeowners insurance, and the cost of maintaining the home.


Get Pre-Approved


Shop around for a mortgage loan officer who can meet your needs.  Not all loan officers are the same.  You will want to do some research on what type of loan you would like to obtain (there are many different types) and who has the best rates and programs.


What and Where?

Determine what you want in a home and where you’d like to be located.  Think of things in a home that are your non-negotiable.  Things such as a two-story home, big kitchen, big or small yard, and updates.  Think in terms of what can be easily fixed to meet your style or needs.  Be willing to look beyond the cosmetic things you don’t like. 


When thinking of a location, you will want to consider neighborhoods and school districts, along with the resale value of your home in that area. 


Make an Offer and Negotiate

This is the time when you want to have a knowledgeable real estate agent on your side.  They will know the value of the home and have access to the information you need to make a good offer and the negotiating tools to get the best deal on the home you want to buy. 



Before closing on your new home, you will want to make sure that you have a final inspection and that items that need to be fixed are finished before the closing date.  You will also want to have a final walk through to make sure the home is just the way it was promised before closing on the loan.


Be prepared when you come to closing with a cashiers check for the down payment and any closing costs.  Ask questions on items you are not sure of before signing.  This will seem like a long process, but in the end you win with home ownership. 


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