Key Steps in Searching for Your Next Home
Buying a home takes a lot of time and research. It’s a major decision – one that will affect your finances and future life. While the journey of each homebuyer is different, there are some key steps that you should take when you searching for your next home in Whatcom County.
Research and budget
When you look for a home, make sure you start researching early because it will take time. Talk to your agent and take a note of the homes that you like. Before you begin searching, have a basic idea of the home you want – for example, decide the number of bedrooms and your budget. When searching for your next home, as a rule of thumb, look for homes that cost about 3-5 times your annual income. If you don’t know how much you should spend, you can contact your agent and discuss with them.
Get pre-qualified for a mortgage
You’ll need to give your financial information to your bank or mortgage dealer to get a pre-qualification letter. Your lender will examine your current income, savings, and other investments to determine how much they can lend you. This will give you an idea of the price of the home you can buy.
Start shopping and make an offer
Once you have your finances in order, you can start searching for your next home. Your agent will show you a few properties which you can visit and inspect. Also, make notes of the findings at each home, including all the little details. For example,
- Run the shower to check the water pressure.
- Turn the switches on/off to see if they are working.
- Open/close the door and windows to see if they are okay.
Also, check the neighborhood and note things such as
- The traffic on the street
- Places near the home, like schools, parks etc.
- Street parking
Consider all the properties within your budget before you decide on one. Once you have settled on it, discuss it with your agent so that they can negotiate the price with the seller’s agent. And once the price has been agreed on, the house will enter the escrow. This is the phase when you have to complete the home buying process.
Purchase offers are made depending on the home inspection report. A home inspection will reveal the damages or other problems with the home that need to be fixed. If there are any flaws, you will get a chance to renegotiate the offer. You can even withdraw your offer without facing a penalty if there is significant damage to the home.
Once the inspection is done, the seller and the buyer will get a copy of the results. You are free to discuss things with the seller and ask for repairs before you close the sale.
Select a loan
If you are wanting to buy a home in Whatcom County, you’ll find different types of loan programs available. If you don’t know which one to select, you can get help from a mortgage expert. Your real estate agent might also help you out here. You might be looking for a low monthly payment loan. Or you might be interested in fixed installments that don’t change throughout the mortgage period. Depending on your needs, you can select the right plan.
Have your home appraised
Your lender will arrange an appraiser to calculate and offer an independent estimate of the house’s value. The appraiser is not linked to the mortgage agency and comes from a third party. With the help of an appraisal report, you’ll know that you’re paying the right price for the property.
Wait for paperwork completion
Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork. When you hire an agent, it becomes their responsibility to complete it all correctly. While they get it done perfectly, all you have to do is wait.
Close the sale
Once the paperwork is done, you need to sign it and complete the purchase. It will take a few days to fund the loan. And once the seller gets the check, you can move into your new house.
It’s all really simple. With the right guidance from an expert agent, you can find your next home quickly and easily.
Impartial free advice to help you buy a home
For more impartial advice on how to buy a house in Bellingham, or anywhere across Whatcom County, consult with Derek Worchel, a professional real estate agent with your best interests at heart on 360 389 7988.