Where to Start When You Want to Buy a House


Where to Start When You Want to Buy a House

Ready to embark on the journey to home ownership? Taking that first step is both exciting and nerve wracking, but what exactly is the first step? If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of real estate, here’s a roadmap to get you started on the right foot.

  1. Assess your financial standing. Yes, it’s fun to browse listings and daydream about a dream house that belongs in a magazine. But taking a close look at your finances will determine how much you can afford to spend on a house, so you can remain grounded in reality. Factors such as your monthly take home income, savings, debt obligations and credit score all have an impact on the number you’ll be allowed to borrow (and what is affordable to you…sometimes the amount a lender is willing to give you may be higher than you’re comfortable with). Then, it’s time to get pre-approved to strengthen your position as a serious buyer who is ready to make a move when the right house comes up.
  2. Define your priorities. What are your must-haves or deal-breakers? Writing down a list of your preferences regarding size, amenities, location and style can help guide your search so you don’t waste your time on properties that won’t be right for you. It can also help to prioritize your list, as some compromise may be necessary, especially in competitive markets.
  3. Research neighborhoods. A house can be a home, but if that house is in the wrong neighborhood, it may feel a little less homey. Explore different areas to find the right fit for your lifestyle and needs. Do you want something that’s walkable to shops and restaurants, or something that is more car reliant but also gives you more space and privacy? Other factors to consider include the proximity to your work, the school district, neighborhood amenities, HOA costs, safety and property values. Online resources, local real estate agents and visiting open houses can provide valuable insight into the area.
  4. Find a real estate agent. Once you’ve defined the physical and financial parameters of your house hunt, it’s time to partner with a knowledgeable real estate agent. They can streamline the homebuying process by providing invaluable guidance. Look for an agent who specializes in the areas you’re interested in and has a track record of successfully helping buyers achieve their goals.
  5. Go on the hunt. It’s time to start looking at properties in person! Your real estate agent can set up a customized search that will send you MLS listings as they become available, but you can also utilize tools like Redfin and Zillow to find properties yourself. Your agent will schedule viewings and can provide expert insight as you tour homes.
  6. Make an offer. When you find a house that ticks the boxes, your agent will help you craft a competitive offer based on market conditions, comparable sales, multiple offer situations and the seller’s motivations.
  7. Due diligence. Between accepting the offer and closing, it is your obligation to conduct a thorough due diligence to ensure the property meets your expectations and is free of significant issues. This can include an inspection, appraisal, title search and review of disclosures.
  8. Closing the deal. Once all contingencies are satisfied, it’s time to close and take ownership of your new home! At closing you’ll sign the necessary paperwork, pay closing costs and receive the keys to your new abode. Congratulations, you’re officially a homeowner!

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Pace, Florida 32571

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127 Palafox Pl Suite 200
Pensacola, Florida 32502

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2107 W 9 Mile Rd, #3
Pensacola, Florida 32534

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