First, determine why you are looking for a new home. For example, are you currently renting and would like to have a home where you can begin building equity? Have you married and outgrown your current residence? Have your children moved out and you need to downsize? These factors will all have a bearing on how you approach your home search. Second, establish a time frame for buying your home. Depending on your reasons for wanting a new home and the current state of our market, you should be able to come up with a rough timeline. Last, you most likely have a mental picture of what you would like your house to look like and what features it should have. Make a list describing your dream home and/or list the features that are an absolute ‘must have’ in order to buy it. It is likely that you will end up blended result as you progress through the buying process. This is a natural and evolutionary process, as you get clearer about what you want and what is available. AFFORDABILITY: You are going to need to know in what price range to look by getting pre-qualified or pre-approve for a mortgage. There are some key differences between pre-qualification and pre-approval for a loan that you need to be aware of. Loan prequalification is a simple process. It takes into account very basic information regarding your financial status and gives you an amount for which you may qualify. Whereas a pre-approved buyer is actually approved for a loan of a certain amount. Pre-approval is a much more involved process. The lender will take all pertinent information regarding your finances and perform an extensive check on your current financial status. This will ultimately give you the exact amount that you will be eligible for. Being pre-approved lets the seller know that you have gone through an extensive financial background check and there should be no unexpected obstacles to buying the home. The type of mortgage you apply for will depend on many factors, but the majority of that decision will be based on your ability to pay a monthly installment. If you can only afford a $1000/month payment, you are not going to buy a $250,000 home, unless you have a large sum of money to make as a down payment. As a general rule, financial planners say that you shouldn't pay more than 28% of your gross income for housing (that includes principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).  Once you have determined what you can afford, the next step is to choose a suitable mortgage plan. There are many different types of mortgages available, so take some time and explore all of the possible plans for which you qualify. You could save yourself thousands of dollars in the end. NEIGHBOURHOOD & HOME SEARCHES:  You’re not just buying a home; you’re buying the neighborhood the home is in. Determine what type of neighborhood you would like to live in. Consider how living in the neighborhood will affect your drive time to and from work, what parks/amenities are offered, what school district you will be in and how close the schools are. SEARCH FOR YOUR HOME:  There are a few ways to go about doing this. You can access local publications highlighting available real estate in the area, look on the Internet, and you can even drive through neighborhoods that you feel would meet your needs. Driving around a particular area looking for a home that is for sale is good because you can actually see the house, but it can be very time consuming and very "hit or miss." MAKE AN OFFER & NEGOTIATE: When you have found the home you would like to purchase, it's time to make an offer. Taking into account the recent sales of homes in that neighborhood, which are similar in size, quality, conveniences, and amenities, what are, you willing to pay for the home? The contract should protect the best interests of all parties involved and should be comprehensive in nature. Once it is accepted by the seller, it may be too late to make any changes, so we make sure to review your offer thoroughly before submitting it. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following: ·       A legal description of the property ·      Parties to the contract ·      Offering price ·      Financing arrangements ·      Home inspection clause ·       Amount of the deposit ·      Title Search and Property Disclosure ·       A list of inclusions (appliances and furnishings) which will stay with the home ·      Completion, Possession and Adjustment dates ·       Any relevant contingencies NEGOTIATIONS: Once your offer is made there may need to be some negotiating in order to reach an agreement. This can give you a great deal of leverage in the buying process, that is, if you have adequate information and you use it in an appropriate manner. Some of the things that you may have to negotiate on are: ·       The price ·      Deposit ·      Repairs that need to be done ·       Appliances and fixtures ·      Completion and Occupancy time frame The key to successful negotiating is keeping in mind that the result must make you, the buyer, and the seller happy. Otherwise, negative feelings will persist throughout the remainder of the process and someone may walk away feeling they were treated unfairly. SATISFY YOUR OFFER & CONVEYANCING:  After your offer has been accepted, the property will need a thorough examination. Working with your lender, you may need to have a formal appraisal and a survey done for the property designated in the contract. A home inspection, a foundation inspection, and an environmental inspection may also need to be completed to make sure that the property is up to the standards set forth in your written agreement. If there are issues or inconsistencies brought to light during this time, it may delay or even nullify the contract depending on the contingencies set forth in the contract. Having these procedures done in a timely and professional manner is necessary. CONVEYANCING:  As the completion date draws near you will need to be in contact with a lawyer or notary and your lender. Your Realtor will make sure that all the necessary documents are being prepared, however, you should also confirm that the documents will be delivered to the correct location so they can be reviewed and that they will be ready on the appropriate date. You will designate a form of payment you will need to bring to the closing for any unpaid fees. Homeowner insurance is another very important item that will need to be taken care of at this point. Insurance experts recommend that you obtain insurance equal to the full replacement value of the home. Unless you have insurance coverage on the home, the closing cannot proceed. COMPLETION & POSSESSION: The completion date is where ownership of the home is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. Most parties involved in the buying/selling process will attend independently in a formal process. Closing procedures are usually held at the lawyer's office. Your lawyer coordinates the document signing and the collection and disbursement of funds. In order for the closing to go smoothly, each party involved should bring the necessary documentation and be prepared to pay any related fees (closing costs). POSSESSION: Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now that you have taken ownership of the property, you will need to have your local services such as electricity, cable, and phone set up. Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home. Your first step toward buying your new home will be to analyze your needs. By analyzing your needs you will be able to get a clear picture of exactly what you want your new home to look like and how it should function for you. At Guardian Real Estate Inspections our NACHI Certified Home Inspectors proudly provide residential and commercial inspections throughout Central Ohio, including but not limited to: Columbus, Pickerington, Lancaster, Pataskala, Newark, Granville, Delaware, Logan, Worthington, Hilliard, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Groveport, Bexley, Whitehall, Circleville, Baltimore, Marysville, Powell, Westerville, Upper Arlington, Millersport, Etna, Buckeye Lake, Hebron, Bremen, Thornville, Amanda, Stoutsville, New Lexington, Junction City, Washington Court House, Carroll, Canal Winchester, Ostrander, Chillicothe, Johnstown, West Jefferson, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Hocking, Madison, Perry, Pickaway, Union counties, in Ohio Certified Mold Testing  Home  Inspections “ don’t regret, have us inspect”