Preparing to purchase your first home is an exciting time in your life. The process can feel overwhelming, as there are many steps to take when making such a significant purchase. If you aren’t sure how to buy a house, use this article as a reference.

1. Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent to Help You Learn How to Buy a House

A real estate agent is an expert in the home buying business. When you are trying to figure out how to buy a house, look for an experienced real estate professional to help you. Find an agent who is reputable, has good reviews, and understands what you are looking for.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You’ll want a lender who clearly communicates and has fair interest rates. After verifying your income, assets, down payment amount, and your other bills, a lender will be able to pre-qualify you for a mortgage. There are quite a few different mortgage options, so do your research and don’t be afraid to ask your lender questions along the way.

3. Determine How Much You are Comfortable Spending

Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 25% of your income after taxes. Anything more than that and you may not have the funds to save for retirement, pay off debt, or put money aside for vacation or emergency expenses. If you are struggling to determine how much you can afford, there are mortgage calculators online that may be a good starting point.

You are likely to be approved for a mortgage that is well above what you can comfortably afford, so it is important that you know how much money you can realistically spend each month on a mortgage. Take into account all the expenses that you will encounter as a new homeowner.

4. Go House Hunting

Before you begin shopping, make a list of features that you would prefer and a list of things you cannot live without. Share your list with your real estate agent so they will better understand what you’re looking for.  Settling on the first house you tour is not how to buy a house responsibly. With such a large investment, you’ll want to look at many options and weigh their pros and cons.

5. Submit an Offer on a Home

After you have found a home for you and your family that meets your needs, the next step is to make an offer. Your real estate agent will help you determine a fair offer. If your offer is accepted, you will sign a contract with the sellers.

The contract that you sign includes all the details of the transaction. Some of the information included is buyer and seller information, the property address, purchase price and down payment amount, items that come with the house, mortgage lender information, information regarding the home inspection and appraisal, and the closing date.

6. Don’t Get Discouraged When Working Through How to Buy a House

Your offer may not be accepted, or you may end up in a bidding war with other potential buyers. When this happens, don’t let it discourage you. New houses are listed on the market every day. With patience, you will find the right home for you and your family.

7. Hire a Professional Home Inspector

Ordering a home inspection is an important step for how to buy a house. You probably don’t want to replace the roof or tackle a mold problem just after moving in. A professional home inspection is an assessment of the house and the property that you are buying. If an inspector discovers problems, the homeowner may be willing to cover part of the costs or you can negotiate a lower price.

Final Thoughts On How to Buy a House

By following these suggestions on how to buy a house, you know what to expect and can create a plan to ease some of the stress.

True North Home Inspections offers home inspection services to the Greater Seattle area. Contact us to request an appointment.