Buying real estate is one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. Understanding the market and the process involved is highly important and must be approached with caution. One of the first steps to take is to come up with a price that you can afford to pay for a new home. Everything from payments to a list of assets has to be considered when thinking about how much your income lets you pay for a property. On top of that, how much will your bank be willing to lend you? They will do their own evaluation of your assets and income verses payments. But don’t forget to get quotes from several lenders, not just one or two. By doing this, you ensure that you will receive the best interest rate possible. Every fraction of the rate lower means thousands of dollars saved in the long run.

A real estate agent is a wise choice when deciding to go house shopping. An agent can help quickly find the right home for you as a buyer and at the very least point you in the right direction. After viewing homes and deciding on one that suits your needs and wants, it is time to make an offer. Doing this requires a standard legal form that entails aspects of the deal such as price, what does or does not come with the house, and contingencies (house inspection and loan). Most sellers require a deposit to secure the offer, which shows seriousness on your part. This is a point of negotiations where the price may be adjusted as well as other amenities. Only be careful as to not upset the seller in the process, if they have other offers that are very competitive to yours, as they may let the deal slip away from you.

Assuming the seller accepts the offer, a sales contract called a Purchase Agreement or Purchase and Sales Agreement is drawn up. A real estate attorney is beneficial in this case to handle the legal issues and make sure both buyer and seller are playing fair. But there is still much to accomplish before the home is yours and everything is settled. The next big step, and invariably one of the most important, is hiring a professional inspector to come in and look at the home and property. This is also required by the lender to ensure the property they are loaning the money for is worth the price. It is only on a rare occasion when the inspector finds something that is monumentally devastating to the sale of the house.

Once the home inspection is finished, the loan commitment follows from the lender. Other steps that will be followed will include a title search, pest inspections, safety tests, etc. Once the loan is secured, a date is set for closing. Before this date, you must have your home insurance secured and ready to prove before that date. When that notorious day comes to finally close, every loose end is tied and the sale is complete. You will sign many documents and bring a certified check to cover closing costs and down payment. The house is yours!