The Essential Steps in the Home Buying Process
As any seasoned home buyer knows, the purchase process is comprised of many intricate steps. Even before you start searching for a home in the Redland, Homestead, and Miami area, there are a few things you need to do so you can make the best and most informed decision. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or seasoned real estate investor, it never hurts to review the next steps in the home buying process and talk with a real estate expert about your goals.
Step 1: Determine What You Can Afford
Before you start looking at properties, take some time to review your finances and eliminate as much debt as possible. Then, take a look at your budget and figure out how much money per month you can put toward your mortgage. A good rule of thumb is that your monthly mortgage payments (including taxes and homeowners insurance) should be something you're comfortable with. Use our mortgage calculator to help you determine your monthly payments.
If you're concerned that you don't have the suggested 20% down payment saved up, don't worry. If you're buying a home in Redland, Homestead, or Miami, you can take advantage of current financing incentives to move into your new home faster.
Step 2: Research Recent Sales in Your Area
Now that you know how much you can afford, take a look at recent home sales and market trends in your desired area. If you have your heart set on a certain neighborhood, you will need to know if the community offers homes in your price range. Ask us for a Neighborhood Sold Report, which is a list of homes that have recently sold in your desired area. You can also call us at 305-508-7520 to talk with us about the market.
Step 3: Create a Wants & Needs List
With hundreds of homes on the market, you need to have a way to narrow your choices. This is where your "wants and needs" list comes in. Prioritize the items that you cannot live without (such as a home with accessible features, with multiple bedrooms for a growing family, or in a certain school district) and put those features in the "needs" column. List the items you'd prefer to have but could give up in your "wants" column.
Step 4: Choose Your Real Estate Agent
Buying a home is difficult without an experienced professional helping you every step of the way. Our dedicated real estate experts will work in your best interests and take care of all the details during your home purchase. We even have HUD-approved brokers on our team to help you purchase a HUD home.
Step 5: Search for Your Ideal Home
There are several ways to find your new home. Use our easy-to-use map search to find a home in your price range and with your ideal features, or view our current listings if you're feeling overwhelmed by all of your choices. We also recommend creating an account — you'll get regular email updates of homes that fit your criteria.
Are you searching for an affordable home in our area? We have several resources that may help, including information about HUD homes and available foreclosures. Call us at 305-508-7520 if you want to learn more.
Step 6: Make an Offer and Negotiate a Price
Once you've found your ideal home, talk with your real estate agent about making an offer. He or she will be able to negotiate with the home seller for the best price. If you're buying a HUD home, you will need to talk with a broker who is HUD-approved to submit a bid for the property on your behalf. When the seller accepts your offer, it's time to prepare for closing.
Step 7: Close, Pay, and Move In
Before you receive the keys to your new home, you'll need to gather the necessary paperwork, order a home inspection, secure financing, and order an appraisal. Your real estate agent will work with you to make sure everything is in order and you can proceed to the closing table. During closing (also called "settlement"), you will sign plenty of documents, pay your down payment and fees (including attorney fees and underwriting fees), and receive the deed and key to your new home.
Ready to Become a Homeowner?
If this is the first home you're buying, we'll help you find the best home and get through closing quickly and easily. Call us at 305-508-7520 if you're ready to get started, or request your free home buying guide to learn more about buying a home in Redland, Homestead, or Miami.