Completing this Checklist Makes Buying a New Home a Million Times Easier

Trista - September 3, 2019
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The home you want may find you, not the other way around.

20. Find the Home You Want

You may have believed it would be impossible, but you finally found the house that you want. It is in your price range, has at least some of your non-negotiables, and is at least close to your desired location. Finally, you are nearing the end of the journey to becoming a homeowner!

This is the best part of the process when everything starts to come together, and all of your hard work starts to pay off. As you go through the rest of the process, you have something real and concrete to envision: your new home, and yourself and your family inside of it.

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Look for hidden repair jobs, which can become costly.

21. Inspect Every Aspect of the Home Critically

Now that you have found your dream home, you want to make sure that you do all of your homework carefully so that you have fewer problems down the road. Check out every single surface of the home, both on the inside and out.

You may find traces of lead paint that have to be removed, water damage that requires extensive repairs, or blown electrical systems that need to be replaced. These things may not necessarily mean that you shouldn’t buy the home, but you will need to figure the costs into your repair budget.

Credit: Mokarran Properties

A good offer can lead to a quick closing process.

22. Make an Offer

Making an offer can be the most essential part of the home-buying process. If you have found a home that you like, you need to make an offer that very day, especially if the house is in a competitive area. Your offer will stand out if you’ve been pre-approved because it is second-best to a cash offer.

If there are multiple offers on your desired home, you will need to talk with your real estate agent about how to make your offer stand out above all the rest. Factors such as appraisal value, time spent on the market, and the seller’s willingness to negotiate will all factor into the offer that you make.

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An inspection may be required by your lender.

23. Get a Home Inspection

Before getting your mortgage underwritten, you will need to hire someone to do a full home inspection. The lending company will likely require this document, as it will factor in the appraisal value of the home.

If the home appears to be in pristine condition but actually has termite damage, the lending company might decide not to underwrite a mortgage for that particular home. Remember that the home itself is the collateral for the loan, so if the appraisal value is less than the selling value, the bank will probably not approve the loan.

Credit: Santander Bank

Not planning for closing costs can lead to anxiety.

24. Set Aside Money for Closing Costs

As the buyer, you are responsible for the closing costs of the home. These costs can go well into the thousands of dollars, so you need to make sure that you plan for them. Otherwise, they can take you unaware and cripple your budget.

While you are closing on the home, the seller deposits the deed to it, and you collect the money for it into a state called escrow. Once the conditions of escrow are met, the deed is released to you, and the funds are released to the seller.

Credit: Realtor

Your state may have its own requirements for closing on a home.

25. Become Familiar With Closing Laws in Your State

Each state has different laws regarding closing on homes. Being familiar with those laws can prepare you for whatever may happen during the closing process. You may be required to get a home inspection or waiver on the inspection, make a final walk-through, and get documents signed and notarized.

Your real estate agent will be familiar with the closing laws in your particular state; this is yet another reason why finding a good agent is an absolute must at the beginning of the home-buying process. If you have any questions, check with your real estate agent.

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You’re almost there!

26. Begin the Closing Process

If your loan was pre-approved when you began the home-buying process, then closing on the home will be much, much faster than if you were only pre-qualified. All of your financial information has already been verified, so as long as there aren’t any surprises, you might get your home closed within a few weeks.

The closing process ends when the deed to the home comes out of escrow, and your funds are released to the seller. Congratulations, you will be completely broke but will be able to move into your dream home.

Credit: Realtor

Once your mortgage is underwritten, you are almost ready to move in.

27. Get Your Loan Underwritten

For the home closing to go through, your loan has to get underwritten by the mortgage company. This means that they have to actually release the funds to the seller and hold you legally responsible for the repayment.

If you did all of your homework at the beginning of the process, then there won’t be any surprises here. However, if there were things hidden from your credit report, if your job or marital status changed, or if you made any big purchases from the time you got pre-approved, your loan may not get underwritten. Meaning, you got to the end of the process but will not be able to close on the home.

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Make sure that your home is safe before you move in.

28. Begin Making Repairs on Your New Home

Depending on the repairs that you need to make to your home, you’ll want to begin making repairs before you move in. It is especially important if there are significant repairs concerning safety, such as the removal of lead paint or replacing damaged electrical systems.

Some repairs may be minor and can be done when you have already moved in. If you are on a time frame, you may elect to perform repairs once you are already in. However, make sure that these repairs will not compromise yours or your family’s safety.

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Buying a home can be a very costly process.

29. Start Packing

It’s time to get ready for the big day! Begin packing your stuff up and get prepared to move. Living in cramped quarters, like in a small apartment or with a family member? Living in this situation while saving for a deposit and going through the home-buying process probably makes you motivated to start packing and head out.

Make sure that you pack carefully and label boxes correctly. This makes unpacking and moving in go much more smoothly. Make sure that fragile items are carefully wrapped. You want move-in day to be a celebration, not a headache!

Credit: Garretts Realty

All of your hard work will pay off when you move into your new home.

30. Move Into Your New Home

Now it is time to move into your new home. Use a moving company! The movers will pack everything for you and move everything into your new home. All that you will need to do is unpack all of your items and arrange them in your new home.

Time to decorate, arrange furniture, do everything that you need to do to get your new home looking perfect. Do something special to commemorate that you are finally in your new home. Pop upon a bottle of champagne or have a house-warming party. Congratulations!

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