Homeownership is the American Dream

The home-buying process can seem daunting to potential homebuyers, but a qualified real estate professional who understands the entire process can help ease many of these worries.

1)

Get Ready for Home Ownership
• Build a good credit history
• Get mortgage pre-approval
• Find out what type of mortgages you quality for
• Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process
• Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property's value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)
• Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney's fees, and transfer fees
• Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowner's assessments

2)

Find a Real Estate Professional
• Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements
• Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer's representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms
• Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with

3)

Find the Right Property
• Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
• Make sure you include home owner's assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4)

Finance the Property
• Contact your mortgage broker or lender
• The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title
• Make sure you understand the financing terms – ask the lender for clarification, if needed

5)

Make an Offer
• Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
• Acquire title insurance
• Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
• Read all contracts before signing – make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions
• Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
• Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing
• Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

6)

Closing and Life After the Big Purchase
• Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner's, flood, disaster, and fire
• Weatherproof your new home
• Maintain files – digital or print – for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
• Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (as a safety deposit box)
• Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files
• Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
• Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party
• Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
• If you're happy with the work of your real estate professional, recommend her/him to friends and family

 
 
Bakersfield Association of Realtors
 
Homeownership is the American dream
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