There are no ifs, ands or buts about it…buying your first home is a big deal! There are a lot of moving parts when dealing with your first home, but there’s no need to stress out. Luckily, right now is a great time to buy and mortgage rates are expected to remain solid for the near future. If you’re looking to buy your first home and have some questions… you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s what it takes to buy your first home.
Check Your Finances
The first thing to do when you start your house-hunting journey is to assess your finances. Figure out how much of a house you can afford—see SDHDA’s payment calculator to estimate your monthly payments. You can break this down by determining how much of a mortgage payment you can pay each month. When you check your finances, this means checking your credit score as well. Make sure it’s strong enough to handle additional debt.
Get Prequalified & Preapproved
Once you’ve figured out your finances, you can send your financial info to a Participating Lender to become prequalified for a mortgage. Once you’ve become prequalified, you can get preapproved for credit for your mortgage.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Agents are useful helpers when it comes to buying or selling a house. Find agents fast and with ease online. There are plenty of resources online to help you find the right match, including the SD Real Estate Commission Licensee Roster, to find a state certified agent.
So, you’ve figured out your price range and have a real estate agent… next is the fun part, shopping for your new home! Whether you search online or go on house tours, with the help of a real estate agent you’ll have a plethora of options to choose from. Once you’ve found a home you like, it’s time to make an offer. Once you make an offer, the ball is in the seller’s court. They can either accept, decline or make a counteroffer.
If your offer is accepted… congrats, you’ve found yourself a new home! But you aren’t owners quite yet. Your lender will want to know the home is insured, so you’ll need to have homeowner’s insurance before you officially close. After that, signing paperwork and writing a check for your downpayment… the home is yours!