If you're a first-time buyer, you're facing quite the challenge in today's housing market. Even though the fierce bidding wars that characterized the last few years are fading, well-priced homes in good condition are still selling fast, and housing inventory is still low.
Buying a home can be daunting, from applying for a mortgage and finding the right neighborhood to closing. So, what are the steps to buying a Maple Grove home for sale? Here's a breakdown of the home buying process with a few insider tips from Counselor Realty.
- Get Preapproved
Before you start house hunting, it's advisable to get preapproved for a mortgage. This way, you'll be able to shop for houses within your budget. Aside from the mortgage, there are several other factors you should account for when buying a house, such as closing costs, homeowners insurance, and moving costs.
Tip: It's important to review your spending throughout this process. Doing so will tell you how much you can comfortably allocate to a mortgage payment. Make sure to account for all your expenses and calculate your debt-to-income ratio to ensure you can reasonably afford a mortgage.
- Find Your Ideal Home
For this step, you'll need to work with an experienced and qualified real estate agent. A buyer's agent will be your representative in the home purchase transaction, and their sole purpose is to ensure you find your dream Minnetonka home for sale that's within your budget. They'll look out for your best interests, get you showing, help you negotiate, and even work some magic that gives you an edge over other buyers.
Some factors you'll want to consider when hunting for a house include:
- Square footage
- Local amenities and access to public transportation
- Local school district rankings
- Home condition and the possible need for repairs
- Property taxes
You'll probably have to compromise on a few things here and there. For this reason, it's a good idea to make a list of your priorities, so you can clearly understand your must-haves and negotiables.
- Make an Offer
You've found the perfect house. This means it's time to submit an offer in writing. Your real estate agent will help you craft one and include details of how much you're willing to pay for the home.
The offer can also include an earnest money deposit, typically 1-2% of the purchase price, which assures the seller that you're a serious contender for the home. In such a case, withdrawing from the deal would mean losing your deposit.
- Home Inspection and Appraisal
Skipping out on these two things could result in a lot of regret down the road. A home inspection ensures that the home has "good bones," well-made and maintained. As the buyer, you'll be liable for any major repairs after the sale closes, so it's vital to ensure that the house has no sizeable issues.
On the other hand, a home appraisal ensures that you're not overpaying for the house. Your lender may require a home appraisal as well because they don't want to lend out more money than the home is worth.
- Closing Day
You'll receive a closing disclosure from your lender, listing what you need to pay at closing, as well as an overview of your home loan. Congratulations, you're officially a homeowner once closing finishes. Homebuying can be a long and grueling process, but it's always worth it in the end.
Tip: Bring a government-issued ID and proof of funds for your closing costs.
If you're looking to buy a home, Counselor Realty is ready to guide you through every step. Call today to see how we can help you close on your next home.