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


Find a Real Estate Professional

  •  Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search® 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


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


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


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


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 (such 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 with your friends
  •  Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
  •  If you're happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family


Make Your House a Home!

 I love these great design tips: