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10 Steps To Buying A House


The first of 10 steps to buying a house is contacting a lender to get pre-qualified. You will need to provide the lender with some basic information about your income and expenses, and then they will be able toverify the price range of homes for which you will be able to qualify for a loan. We can recommend several lenders in your community who have good reputations for service and professionalism.


Steps To Buying A House: Searching

steps to buying a houseWrite a list of features you absolutely must have in the home you buy, a list of features you would like to have if possible, and a list of features you do not want. For example, you may know that you must have three bedrooms and two baths, a two car garage, and a guest bedroom on the main floor. Then you might like to have a 1/2 acre or larger lot with a fenced yard, if possible. But you know you definitely do not want to live in a house with only one story or is older than five years old.


Once you have your price range and a pretty good idea of what features you want the house to have or not have, you should think through the types of neighborhoods that you think you would be happiest in. Do you want to live close to hiking trails and parks, or would you rather be within walking distance to restaurants and shopping? Are neighborhood amenities like swimming pools or tennis courts important to you?


Choosing A Realtor

Choosing a realtor is one of the most important steps to buying a house. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a full time Realtor who specializes in the area where you want to buy. You can also search on websites like Zillow, where past clients will post reviews on Realtors they’ve hired and choose the real estate agent that you feel will be an asset to you in your search for a new home.


Once you’ve chosen your Realtor, share the lists you’ve created and the price range you want to stay within, and let your Realtor get to work for you. I can set up a search that will automatically send you email alerts as soon as any property comes on the market that matches the criteria you’ve established. There is no need to spend hours and hours searching online every day to see if a new listing has hit the market. Let them come to you!


Steps To Buying A House: Purchasing

The Offer


Once you’ve found the house you want to buy, your Realtor will be able to compile information on the comparable homes in the area that have sold recently. This will help ensure you do not overpay for the home, and you can submit your offer on the house with confidence. The seller may not accept your initial offer, which includes not only the price you are willing to pay, but also other terms of the contract such as the settlement date and amount of earnest money and due diligence fee you are willing to pay. Once these have been negotiated and agreed upon, you will be under contract for your new home!


Mortgage Loan


Now that you are under contract, you need to immediately give a copy of it to your lender so that the processing of your loan can begin. During this period, it is important that you do not make any major new purchases that may affect your credit. It’s important that your loan be processed and approved before the expiration of the due diligence period, so be sure to promptly provide whatever information the lender requests.


The Closing


Your Realtor will recommend a reputable closing attorney who will handle title search, survey, and coordinate with the lender and insurance company. Your Realtor will also recommend an inspector to go over the condition and systems in the house during the due diligence period, and you will have an opportunity to request that the seller make any repairs that are needed prior to closing on the house.



Two weeks before your closing date, you should call the utility companies and order your services at your new house so they will all be working when you move in. This little step seems obvious, but when forgotten it can create a terrible moving day experience with no power or water!


STEP #10

Closing on a house can be an intimidating experience. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of money! But your Realtor can review the HUD-1 with you prior to going to the attorney’s office, so that you can have any questions cleared up before you get there. Congratulations, you have completed all the steps to buying a house and you now own the home of your dreams!

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    Rhonda Stults
    RE/MAX United
    1526 E. Franklin St., Ste.101
    Chapel Hill NC 27514


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