10 Steps to Buying a Home

Are you feeling the urge to go ahead and buy a home? The market is great for buyers right now! Go ahead and dive in soon to lock in the low interest rates that lenders are providing during this time.

When you are ready to buy a home, there’s certain steps that need to be taken to ensure a smooth home buying process. Check out the 10 step plan below to ensure success when buying a new home!

  1. Ensure your credit report and score are solid and healthy. Check out Annualcreditreport.com to receive your free credit report. If you’re looking for a great mortgage rate, it’s good to have a credit score of 720 or higher, but you can still buy a home if your score is lower.
  2. Crunch the numbers and figure out just how much you can afford. The best way to do this is create a spreadsheet of ALL of your monthly bills/payments (excluding what you currently pay for housing), subtract those expenses from you monthly income and that should give you the MAX amount of money you can spend monthly on a mortgage, insurance, and taxes. Be sure to leave yourself some wiggle room for unknown expenses. You can also access several free mortgage affordability calculators online to help you. Once you figure out what you’re comfortable spending, it’s time for the next step!
  3. Find a real estate agent! If you don’t already know someone who does real estate, check online – be sure to look at reviews. Choosing a real estate agent is a big deal, the agent will be able to help you throughout the entire process and will be able to answer all of the questions you may have.
  4. Get pre-approved by a lender. If you’re unsure which lender to choose, ask your real estate agent. They should be able to give you recommendations, and if not you can use Zillow to find a highly rated licensed lender in your area.
  5. Start looking for your dream home! Let your real estate agent know exactly what you’re looking for in a home (i.e. pool, 4 bedrooms, large kitchen space with an island, etc.). Your agent will be able to pull available homes in the area you’re interested in. If you’re looking for a home in Houston, be sure to give us a call also! We would love to show you our communities throughout the area.
  6. Make an offer. The home you’re interested in will have an initial listing price, but this is almost always negotiable. Have your realtor craft an offer with an amount you are comfortable with and submit it to the sellers for review/acceptance. Many times you will go back and forth with the sellers until you come to an agreeable number or additional concessions, so don’t stress out! It’s all apart of the process.
  7. It’s time for your home inspection. If it’s necessary, you will hire a home inspector to come out to the home to make sure there are no big fixes that need to be done on the home. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions about the home (how long do you think the roof has left? Is the AC unit in good condition?). It’s also a good time for you to begin measuring and envisioning the home as your own!
  8. Line up insurance and utilities. This is a very important step – you want to make sure to get the
  9. ¬†best rates and coverage for your new home. Call around for several quotes on insurance to ensure you’re getting the best rate. For utilities, you can choose to transfer whatever you use now to your new home, however often times you can find better rates – seek out a utility concierge to help you through this process.
  10. Closing Day!! This is one of the most exciting (and tedious) days in the home buying process. You will have to sign and read what will seem like hundreds of documents, but it’s all necessary for the next step.
  11. Get the keys to your new home and start moving in! You are officially a homeowner and are ready to make your new home your own by moving all of your furniture and decorations in! The last thing that you may want to do once you’re moved in – have a house warming party! Buying a home is a huge milestone, be sure to celebrate it with your friends and family!

Congratulations – you now know all of the steps to buying a home and are ready to take the first one! If you’re interested in living in Houston, be sure to give us a call or visit our website to view our available homes. When you buy with Sullivan Brothers Builders, we ensure to make the process as smooth as possible with our team of recommended lenders, insurance agencies, and more!