So as you might already know, I’m not only a designer and home stager, but I’m also a licensed Realtor in New Jersey. So this post will focus on a little more on the real estate side of things. I hope you find the information to be useful and informative to you!
Buying a home can be overwhelming (especially in these uncertain times…thanks to COVID of course). But buying a house (especially your first) is such an exciting part of life and I don’t wanna spoil it by talking about this virus. Finding the right real estate agent is half the battle. Lucky for you, if you live in Northern New Jersey, I’m an agent. So let’s just talk about the basics of the home buying process, shall we?
Before you do ANYTHING…get pre-approved. There’s nothing worse than looking for houses online only to realize the one you have your heart set on is totally out of your budget. Basically, you’re going to get a document from a lender who has run all of your financial information which will show you and me (your Realtor) the loan amount you qualify for. Then we can get realistic on what you can afford!
This is important in the home buying process. You have to “click” with your Realtor or else working with him/her is going to be miserable. Not only that, but it’s important to find one who is knowledgeable on the area you’re looking in. Your Realtor is the one who will walk you through the home buying process, work on the paperwork, handle negotiations, etc.
You’re going to want to sit down and get real about how much money you are willing to put down on the house. It’s important to take a look at your finances and figure out what amount you (and your spouse) will feel comfortable putting down. Remember, this is a lot of money so you must take the time to think this through.
Buying a house is a big investment! You have to consider what’s important to you when looking for houses. These are the things you must talk about with your Realtor so everyone is on the same page. You might REALLY want a lot of windows because you like natural light, you need to have 4 bedrooms so your children can all get their own bedrooms, the towns you want to be in, whatever the case may be! Consider writing down a list so you don’t forget anything.
Okay, so this is the point in time where the fun begins (or at least I think it’s fun)! You’ve gone over everything necessary with your Realtor and so he/she will begin searching for homes with the criteria you have provided. Your Realtor will make appointments for you and take you to see the houses. It’s a good idea to take notes of the homes you’ve seen so you can remember what you liked/didn’t like about them. It can get a little difficult to keep track of the homes you’ve seen so having some bullet points can be really helpful!
Once you’ve found a house you can imagine yourself living in, it’s time to make an offer to the sellers. Your Realtor will help you come up with an offer that is competitive (just in case there are multiple offers on the table) but also reasonable, given how the market is doing at that particular time. This is when your Realtor will negotiate with the seller’s Realtor to get you the best possible offer!
Buying a house has LOTS of paperwork but your Realtor will be there with you to go over everything. It’s also good to have you lawyer take a look at your contract to make sure you understand the details before signing them. You’re gonna wanna take your time here because this is a big investment so don’t rush into signing the contract right away. Look it over and ask questions!
And that’s the home buying process in a nutshell! There are obviously more details that go into it but it’s a good idea to get a basic understanding of what you’re getting yourself into when shopping for homes, especially if you’ve never bought a home before. The market is CRAZY right now all thanks to COVID so make sure you take your time and don’t jump into anything if you’re not comfortable. Feel free to ask me any questions you have!