3 Steps To Buying Your Dream Home

Posted on: 11 September 2014

Finding that dream home--the one that has everything you wanted--can be a tricky endeavor. It takes a sound knowledge of knowing exactly which features you can't live without and a willingness to compromise on the ones you can. It takes a talented real estate agent who understands your needs and who's willing to work hard to help you meet them. It takes time and devotion to touring homes, applying for loans, filling out paperwork and surviving home inspections. Buying your dream home is a seriously big deal, but you can make it easier by narrowing the whole process down to just three simple steps:

1.  Getting Pre-Approved

Nothing jump starts the home-buying process like obtaining a pre-approval from a financial institution. In fact, many real estate agents today won't even work with prospective home buyers without this all-important piece of paperwork. Getting pre-approved is a fairly simple process of sitting down with a loan or mortgage officer and going through your financial history together. During this meeting, your loan officer may:

  • Pull your combined credit report from all three agencies.
  • Look at your credit score.
  • Peruse your bill-payment history and note any problems.
  • Verify your work history.
  • Counsel you on any problems he notices.

If you meet the minimum requirements for obtaining a loan, he might write you a letter of approval on the spot. Or, if your credit history is a little sketchy, he'll give you advice on what you need to do to bring it up to par. Sometimes, your loan officer will work with you even if your credit score is lower than it should be by giving you a conditional approval letter based on your commitment to fixing your credit. At this point, you can begin working with a real estate agent to locate a home.

2.  Seeing Homes

With your approval letter in hand, it's time to call up the real estate agent who's right for you and begin seeing homes. Typically you'll provide her with the details of what you're looking for in a home:

  • Budget, based on your pre-approval
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of baths
  • Preferred location
  • Preferred school district
  • Type of loan you're applying for (some programs, such as FHA, have stricter requirements regarding the condition of the potential home.)

With this information in hand, your agent can begin making decisions about which homes to show you. Keep in mind that it's rare for a single home to have every amenity that you're hoping to find. It's best to make a list of the things you absolutely can't live without--off-street parking, a fenced-in backyard--and be prepared to compromise on less-important things like the size of the kitchen or whether the basement is finished.

3.  Closing

Once you've secured the loan, found the house, and made an offer that's accepted, the third and final step of the home-buying process involves closing. For most new homeowners, this is just a formality. By this time, everything should be approved and on-schedule with nothing left but the signing of papers and the exchange of closing fees that vary depending upon the amount of your loan and the state you're buying your home in. Texas, for instance, currently has the highest closing costs, which run around $7,000 for a $200,000 home. If you're the one footing the costs of closing, you'll need to have this payout available with you at closing. With this said and done, you'll leave your meeting with your new house key and a copy of your deed in hand.

After the excitement of pursuing and landing the home you wanted, moving in can be somewhat anti-climactic. Make things easier by contacting a reputable moving truck rental. The staff at an experienced truck rental company, such as Elite Truck Rentals, will be able to advise you on the right size of truck you'll need, they'll offer moving boxes for sale, and their trucks will be affordable and in good running condition. All of these factors combined will help make moving day run just as smoothly as the whole home-buying process.