10 Steps to Buying a Home
Thinking of buying a home in Colorado? Make sure you know what to expect - whether you're a first-time buyer or a real estate aficionado. Here are the steps you need to know for buying a home:
Step 1: Figure Out What You Can Afford
Determine what you'll be able to afford in mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.
Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don't have a traditional 20% down payment doesn't mean you can't buy a home!
Step 2: Shop for a Loan and Get Preapproved
Finding a trustworthy lender and determining which type of loan you'll qualify for will help you figure out how much home you can actually afford. Get recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to talk to at least three lenders before making a decision.Need recommendations for lenders? Just ask!
Step 3: Determine the Selling Price of Homes in Your Location
If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area - not just their listing price—to confirm whether you can actually afford that location.Have a particular neighborhood you'd like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!
Step 4: Find an Agent
You don’t have to work with an agent—but after 15 years in the business, I know just how different and complicated each and every transaction can be, so it's one of the few things in life where I would say, Don't even think about DIY! Your agent should be someone who you can trust, a local expert on real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience.Looking for an agent in Boulder & the Front Range? Find out more about our experience and how we can help you buy a home!
Step 5: Find Your Home
This is the fun part, where you get to visit open houses, tour homes, make notes, and really hone in on your perfect dream home! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn't like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh.Buying a home in Boulder & the Front Range? Start searching for your dream home today!
Step 6: Make an Offer
When you find 'the one', you'll work with your Realtor to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.
Step 7: Get an Inspection
This only happens once an offer is accepted. Once that happens, the fun begins! Nothing's finalized yet, so make sure you're getting your money's worth! Ask your Realtor to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems. If necessary, you may request that the seller repair any issues you find.
Step 8: Review Your Contract
Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your Realtor and/or a lawyer to ensure there are contingencies - that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren't still obligated to buy the home.
Step 9: Finalize Your Mortgage Approval
Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees and taxes.
Step 10: Close and Pay
It's time to close! Meet with your Realtor, lender and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts and pay your down payment and closing costs. Your down payment will need to be wired to the Title Company or delivered as a certified check. And you'll need to bring your legal ID, as the paperwork will be signed by a notary.
Finally - the keys to your new home!
Still Have Questions or Ready to Get Started?
If you're thinking of buying a home, then it's time to contact Hailey. We're your local real estate experts. Not only can we answer all your buying questions, we can help connect you with the resources you need to make an informed decision so you're sure to find your dream home at just the right price. Take a look at some of the home buying resources we have to offer.