So you’re thinking about buying a house. It’s a big decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. Before purchasing a house, you must do your due diligence and research. From the home’s condition to the neighborhood, these factors can make or break your decision to purchase a particular property.
Kissie Inspections’ Home Purchasing Checklist
From location to budget, to timing and beyond, there are a lot of factors to weigh in before making such a big purchase. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist to help you make smart decisions before buying your dream home.
Save for a down payment.
One of the most important things to consider before buying a home is how you will save for a down payment. A down payment is money you will need to pay upfront to purchase a home. The amount of money you will need for a down payment will depend on the type of mortgage you get and the price of the home you are interested in purchasing.
If you are still trying to come up with a sizeable down payment, options are still available. You can look into getting an FHA loan, which only requires a 3.5% down payment, or see if you qualify for any first-time buyer programs that may be offered in your area. Saving for a down payment can take some time, so starting as soon as possible is essential.
Once you have saved enough money for your first down payment, you must also factor in closing costs. Closing costs are typically around 2-5% of the home’s purchase price, including loan origination fees, appraisal fees, and insurance. Be sure to ask your real estate agent or lender about what kind of closing costs you can expect so that you can budget accordingly.
Understand Debt-To-Income Ratio
Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying your debts. It’s important to calculate your DTI before applying for a mortgage because lenders use it to decide how much you can afford to borrow.
To calculate your DTI, add up all your monthly debt payments and divide them by your gross monthly income. For example, if you have a monthly mortgage payment of $1,000 and a monthly car payment of $250, your monthly debt payments would be $1,250. If your gross monthly income is $4,000, your DTI would be 31.25%.
Most lenders like to see a DTI of 36% or less. Even if yours is higher than that, you can qualify for a loan, but you’ll likely have to make a larger down payment.
If you need to figure out your DTI, don’t worry – plenty of online calculators can help you figure it out in just a few minutes. Just remember that the lower your DTI, the better your chances are of being approved for a loan.
Once you’ve done your homework, you’ll be ready to start house hunting!
Prepare for your house research.
When you’re ready to buy a house, there are several things you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Here are just a few of the most important things to look for before choosing a home to buy:
- Location – You’ll want to consider the house’s location carefully. Think about things like commuting to work, the surrounding neighborhood, public transportation, and schools in the area.
- Size: Make sure the house is the right size for your needs. There’s no use in buying a huge home if you only use a fraction of the space. You’ll want to ensure that it’s large enough for your needs but not too large that it’s expensive to maintain.
- Condition: Take some time to inspect the property before making an offer. Look for any signs of damage or disrepair that could cost you money down the road.
- Price: The price is an important consideration when purchasing a house. You’ll need to make sure you can pay the monthly mortgage and any necessary repairs or renovations. Getting caught up in looking at properties that are out of your price range is easy. Keep your budget in mind and only look at homes within it.
Make a smart offer
Let’s say you have already found a prospective house to buy; if you’re considering making an offer on a home, there are a few things you’ll want to take into account first. Of course, you don’t want to lowball your offer and risk insulting the seller, but you also want to avoid overpaying for the property. Here’s what you should consider before making your purchase offer:
- The current market value of the property. Look at recent comparable sales in the area to get an idea of what the property is worth.
- Your financial situation. Make sure you have been pre-approved for a mortgage and know precisely how much you can afford before buying a home.
- The seller’s motivation. If the seller or agent is motivated to sell quickly, they may be more likely to accept a lower offer. On the other hand, if they don’t need to sell right away, they may hold out for a higher price.
- Your negotiating skills. If you’re confident in your ability to negotiate, you can get a better deal on the home by starting with a lower offer.
Hire a real estate attorney
It is important to hire a real estate attorney before purchasing a house, especially if you’re buying a property for the first time or are unfamiliar with your area’s real estate market.
A real estate attorney can help you navigate buying a home, from negotiating with sellers to reviewing contracts. They can also answer any questions about the process and help you avoid making mistakes.
The cost of hiring a real estate attorney will vary depending on their experience and location, but it’s generally worth having someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of buying a home. If you need help deciding whether to hire an attorney, talk to your real estate agent for their opinion.
Schedule a home inspection
It’s essential to schedule a home inspection before buying a home. Getting an inspection will help you identify any potential problems with the property that could end up costing you money in the future. You must consider hiring a qualified home inspector to make the most of your home-buying experience.
Buying a home is one of life’s defining moments. It’s an exciting journey that can also be stressful. When you hire us, you hire an advocate. From the initial scheduling, a friendly voice walks you through the process. You will be met on-site by a professional who will answer your questions in palatable terms, deliver your report via email on time, and is available to answer questions after your inspection. In what can be a stressful event, we do our best to help you enjoy buying your home.
To learn more about our home inspection services, click here.
Prepare for closing
Congratulations! You’re ready to close on your new home! While closing on a home is a huge accomplishment, it’s not the end of the process. You still need to do a few things to ensure everything goes smoothly.
First, you need to get your finances in order. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage and understanding the costs associated with buying a home.
Next, you need to start packing! You’ll need to pack your belongings and get them ready to move. Make sure you plan how you move everything and remember the essentials like a change of address forms and utilities set-up.
Finally, you need to prepare for the move mentally. Moving is a significant change to your daily life and can be stressful. Make sure you give yourself time to adjust and ease into your new life.
Purchasing a house is a considerable investment, so it’s important to do your research and due diligence beforehand. Consider location, size, condition, and price when looking at homes, and remember to factor in your budget and debt-to-income ratio. By keeping all of these things in mind, you can help ensure that you find the perfect home for you and your family.
If you’re interested in making sure you’re buying correctly and efficiently, check out 10 Deadly Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing A Home. If you’re in Frisco, Texas, check out Kissee Inspection Services for experienced, licensed inspectors near you.