Life 101: Buying a home
Here's your guide to finding your perfect house, taking on a mortgage and putting down roots.
Life 101: Buying a Home
Ready to buy a home? Make sure you're prepared with this step-by-step guide.
To get started, you need:
- Money for a down payment. Most loans require 20 percent down.
- Clean credit history. Pull your credit reports from all three bureaus and check for inaccuracies.
- Mortgage pre-approval. Find a mortgage lender to help.
- Choose your desired location.
- Find a real estate agent to help you.
- Set your price range.
- Determine "nice-to-haves" and "non-negotiables" for your home.
- Shop: Research available homes online, have your agent set up private appointments, and visit open houses.
- Make an offer (and possibly negotiate, if there's a counter-offer).
Important questions to consider:
- What are the property taxes?
- How are the local schools?
- What amenities are nearby—and how close do you want to be to the grocery store, restaurants, public transportation, etc.?
- How do you define "move-in ready"?
- Does your budget allow for immediate fixes?
Additional (potential) costs to think about:
- Closing costs—up to 5 percent of the purchase price
- Immediate repairs or cosmetic work
- Larger renovations (right away or in the future)
- Maintenance items (like a lawn mower and/or sprinkler for your new yard)
CLOSING THE SALE
- Before you can officially make the house your home, you need to:
- Make a "good faith" deposit, which takes the property off the market while the sale is being finalized.
- Get a home inspection. If the inspector finds serious issues, negotiate for repairs or a lower price.
- Have the bank schedule an appraisal to ensure a current property value.
- Sign the paperwork.
- Pay closing costs, such as loan-origination fees, title insurance, surveys, taxes, and credit report charges, and other costs, such as utility hook-ups and lock changes.
How State Farm can help this go right: Talk to your agent today about your new insurance needs and how to get your new home protected.