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How to Keep the Home Buying Process

Organized

Buying a home is not just a matter of going house viewing and making an offer. Rather, it involves multiple exercises, including determining your financial standing, applying for a mortgage, searching for a house, working with real estate agents, and finally securing the home you want. All these processes can be quite overwhelming. Most people searching for homes find the process overwhelming because they are disorganized. As a result, they end up making common mistakes that can make them lose money. You do not have to pay the price of poor organization when looking for a home. Here are some tips that will ensure you are organized, have control of the home buying process, and save valuable time. Manage Your Current Bills The moment you make up your mind to look for a new home, start getting your finances in order. Go through your monthly budget to identify recurring bills that have to be paid. Check whether there are any bad debts under your name, for example, late insurance payments, credit card debt, student debt, and so on. Also, pay off any outstanding debts. Your financial history will play a crucial role when you are applying for a home loan. Therefore, evaluate your current credit standing before visiting a lender. Get All the Paperwork Right The next step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Here, you will need to contact different lenders to find out how much loan you can qualify for. The pre-approval process involves a lot of paperwork. Depending on the lender you choose, you may be required to present the following documents: Proof of income (e.g., recent pay stubs, or a letter from your employer) Existing financial obligations (e.g., alimony payments, monthly recurring bills, etc.) Credit score report and your credit history Personal identification documents or information (e.g., your Social Security Number) From the information you provide, lenders will be able to determine your suitability for a mortgage. Generally, the more financially stable you are, the greater the chances of getting approved for a loan. Separate Needs from Wants Before starting your search for a house, determine what you want. Make a list of what you need and want in a house. The needs and wants should be listed in order of importance. Here are some ideas to get you started: How many bedrooms should the house have? What size of property do you want? What neighborhood or location do you prefer? What price range are you okay with? Are there particular amenities you need? Answer the above questions by tagging your responses as either a “need” or “want”. The “needs” are the absolute minimums you are willing to accept, while the “wants” are the features that would be nice to have but are not a deal-breaker. Keep Track of Your House Views Generally, you should expect to view several homes before finding one that matches your requirements. The house viewing process can take weeks or even months, and you may forget the particulars of the homes you have toured. Therefore, it’s important to have a checklist with specific information about the potential homes you have seen. Track the houses you have viewed by writing down their information for comparison purposes. The information may include: Style of the home Size of the property The neighborhood where the home is located Number of bedrooms and bathrooms The available features You may also want to snap photos of notable features or rooms so that you can visually compare what the different homes have to offer when it is time to make a decision. Keep Contact Information During the house hunting and buying process, you will meet various players along the way. These players may either be directly or indirectly involved in the home buying process. Get the names, phone numbers, and emails of all the players you meet. Examples of these professionals include real estate agents, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, home sellers, among others. Sometimes, you have to act fast to snatch a good deal. Having the contact information of important players in the process can help you to move quickly. For example, if you get a seller looking for a quick sale, you can contact an appraiser to determine the value of the property, a home inspector to carry out a quick inspection, and other professionals to take care of other contingencies. Compare Your Notes Finally, go through your notes to see how the homes you are interested in compare to each other. Rank the houses in terms of how well they meet your needs and wants. During the comparison exercise, you may have to make compromises on various factors to arrive at the ideal home. Follow the above tips to stay more organized during the home buying process.
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How to Keep the Home Buying Process Organized Buying a home is not just a matter of going house viewing and making an offer. Rather, it involves multiple exercises, including determining your financial standing, applying for a mortgage, searching for a house, working with real estate agents, and finally securing the home you want. All these processes can be quite overwhelming. Most people searching for homes find the process overwhelming because they are disorganized. As a result, they end up making common mistakes that can make them lose money. You do not have to pay the price of poor organization when looking for a home. Here are some tips that will ensure you are organized, have control of the home buying process, and save valuable time. Manage Your Current Bills The moment you make up your mind to look for a new home, start getting your finances in order. Go through your monthly budget to identify recurring bills that have to be paid. Check whether there are any bad debts under your name, for example, late insurance payments, credit card debt, student debt, and so on. Also, pay off any outstanding debts. Your financial history will play a crucial role when you are applying for a home loan. Therefore, evaluate your current credit standing before visiting a lender. Get All the Paperwork Right The next step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Here, you will need to contact different lenders to find out how much loan you can qualify for. The pre-approval process involves a lot of paperwork. Depending on the lender you choose, you may be required to present the following documents: Proof of income (e.g., recent pay stubs, or a letter from your employer) Existing financial obligations (e.g., alimony payments, monthly recurring bills, etc.) Credit score report and your credit history Personal identification documents or information (e.g., your Social Security Number) From the information you provide, lenders will be able to determine your suitability for a mortgage. Generally, the more financially stable you are, the greater the chances of getting approved for a loan. Separate Needs from Wants Before starting your search for a house, determine what you want. Make a list of what you need and want in a house. The needs and wants should be listed in order of importance. Here are some ideas to get you started: How many bedrooms should the house have? What size of property do you want? What neighborhood or location do you prefer? What price range are you okay with? Are there particular amenities you need? Answer the above questions by tagging your responses as either a “need” or “want”. The “needs” are the absolute minimums you are willing to accept, while the “wants” are the features that would be nice to have but are not a deal-breaker. Keep Track of Your House Views Generally, you should expect to view several homes before finding one that matches your requirements. The house viewing process can take weeks or even months, and you may forget the particulars of the homes you have toured. Therefore, it’s important to have a checklist with specific information about the potential homes you have seen. Track the houses you have viewed by writing down their information for comparison purposes. The information may include: Style of the home Size of the property The neighborhood where the home is located Number of bedrooms and bathrooms The available features You may also want to snap photos of notable features or rooms so that you can visually compare what the different homes have to offer when it is time to make a decision. Keep Contact Information During the house hunting and buying process, you will meet various players along the way. These players may either be directly or indirectly involved in the home buying process. Get the names, phone numbers, and emails of all the players you meet. Examples of these professionals include real estate agents, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, home sellers, among others. Sometimes, you have to act fast to snatch a good deal. Having the contact information of important players in the process can help you to move quickly. For example, if you get a seller looking for a quick sale, you can contact an appraiser to determine the value of the property, a home inspector to carry out a quick inspection, and other professionals to take care of other contingencies. Compare Your Notes Finally, go through your notes to see how the homes you are interested in compare to each other. Rank the houses in terms of how well they meet your needs and wants. During the comparison exercise, you may have to make compromises on various factors to arrive at the ideal home. Follow the above tips to stay more organized during the home buying process.
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