If you’ve never purchased a home before, the process can seem overwhelming. What, exactly, do you need to do before you buy a home? What steps do you need to take? And where do you start?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined some of the most important initial steps first-time homeowners need to take as they navigate the home buying process, including:
- Saving for a down payment. Most lenders require you to cover a percentage of the home’s cost in cash—known as a down payment. While a 20 percent down payment can be beneficial, it’s not typically necessary. Many lenders are willing to work with buyers with a lower down payment—so just save up as much as you can prior to starting your home search.
- Getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Before you start looking for a home, you need to know how much home you can afford—and that means getting pre-approved for your mortgage. Once you’re pre-approved, you know exactly how much you have to spend—which will save you time, energy, and frustration during your home search. (No one wants to fall in love with a home, only to find out they aren’t approved for a large enough mortgage to purchase it.)
- Finding the right real estate agent. A great real estate agent will walk you through the entire home buying process, whether that’s finding you the right home, negotiating a great deal, or answering questions along the way. So, before you get too far into your home search, make sure to find a trusted, reputable agent to partner with.
Bottom line? If you’ve never purchased a home before, it can be hard to know where to begin—but these steps are a great place to start!