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It’s an exciting time when you start the transition from renting to purchasing a home. There are steps that must be followed to ensure you are able to own a home. The process can be complicated at times. Here is a guide to help new and old homebuyers through the process of buying a home.

Down Payment

You must have a down payment saved in order to purchase a home. There are many obligations and payments that need to be made in our daily lives, which makes this first step very difficult for most people. Typically, a required down payment is listed at twenty percent. It may take a long time to save the money needed, so make sure you start saving early on.

Pre-Approval

Obviously, you can’t buy a house if you can’t afford it. Most people take out mortgage loans that will cover the house. You must be pre-qualified for the loan. Mortgage companies will interview the homebuyer and ask questions about finances and any debts already incurred. The result of the interview is how much the buyer will be able to afford.

Location

Now that there is a price range, you can start looking at the desired location. Location is usually decided based on the location of family and work. Location is also determined by your lifestyle. Urban areas are in the city while suburban areas are on the outskirts of the city. Urban you are where all the action happens and can be more expensive. Suburban is where you have bigger properties with yards and better homes to raise families. Keep in mind your lifestyle and commute while looking at potential locations.

Type of Home

Lifestyle also plays a factor in the type of house a person will prefer. Home types include condos, single-family, detached, semi-detached, duplex, and townhomes. Needs such as the number of rooms, bathrooms, and floors have to be looked at current and in the future. You don’t want to buy a small home and then grow your family, only to have to move again in a few years.

Real Estate Agents

Now that you have an idea of what type of house you want, it is time to find a real estate agent. An agent understands the market to be able to lead homebuyers to the best choices available. Find a real estate agent with a good reputation and take some of the frustration out of buying a home.

Visit Properties

Once you have informed your agent on your dream house type and location, it is time for them to find the available properties that match your criteria. Your agent will then find and screen homes for the buyer. If it matches the criteria, the agent will present the options to the homebuyer and set up a time to visit the potential homes.

Offer

Once the buyer has agreed on a house, they will make an offer. With the agent’s knowledge on recent home sales in the area, they will be able to draft a contract that is agreeable for everyone. The agent can also deal with the legal requirements and make sure the contract meets them. Then once the offer is agreed on, the buyer will secure the mortgage. This is where being pre-approved will come in handy. The mortgage application process will take longer if the homebuyer has not been pre-approved.