Home Buying Made Easy

A 12 Step Plan for Any Home Buyer

Thinking of buying your first home? A checklist is a great way to keep things organized and stress-free as you enter the home buying process. Take a look at our easy 12 Step Plan and let Oak City Properties help make the home buying process a little bit easier. 

Step 1: Know Your Budget

Take a good look at your income and decide on a realistic budget. Think about the down payment, closing costs, property taxes, HOA Fees, amenity upkeep costs and any potential “unseen” expenses that may arise with repairs. 

Step 2: Check Your Credit Score

A credit score of at least 620 is needed to get approved for most mortgages. Make sure to know your credit score and use it to your advantage when it comes to interest rates and having a clear picture of your account history. 

Step 3: Get Pre-approved 

When a buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage loan, there are solid, outlined boundaries on how much the lender is willing to give. It is also a sign to the seller that you are ready and able to commit to the purchase of the home. 

  • Make sure to have proof of income, proof of assets, a good credit history, employment verification and all necessary documentation. 

Step 4: Be Familiar With the Process

Make sure to know the in’s and out’s of the mortgage loan (if necessary) and home buying process. From deciding what mortgage is right for you to understand the due diligence period, being informed will save you from unwanted stress (and surprises). 

Step 5: Hire a Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent will have a deep understanding of the local market and what kind of price is acceptable for the home. A real estate agent also has access to extensive market exposure through— the local MLS and online listing portals, a professional network/ connections with other agents, name recognition, and a diverse social media presence. 

Step 6: Know Where You Want to Buy

Have an idea of where you would like to buy a home. There is a lot to consider: commute, school district, amenities, home type/style and entertainment/restaurants nearby.  

Step 7: Visit and Tour Homes

Be ready to visit several homes so that you can get a feel for the market and better understand what your budget will purchase. Visiting and touring homes will also give your real estate agent an opportunity to better understand what you want in a home. 

Step 8: Make a Competitive Offer

Once you find your ideal home, the next step is to make a competitive offer that will let the seller know you are serious. Think about how much you are willing to pay for the home, then factor in the earnest money and closing costs. When submitting your offer, make sure to attach a copy of the pre-approval letter, closing details and any contingencies. 

Step 9: Get an Inspection

If your offer is accepted ALWAYS get an inspection. Inspect everything that the home has to offer: well, septic tank, pool, wiring, plumbing, HVAC….the list goes on and on. Take the steps necessary to make sure the home is in good condition and listen to your realtor; he/she has been through this process before and is a wealth of knowledge. 

Step 11: Get an Appraisal

An appraisal is an estimate of the home’s value and most lenders require it prior to issuing the mortgage. An appraisal is based on comps in the area, square footage, appearance, amenities and overall condition. 

Step 12: Close On the Home

On closing day, both the seller and buyer will need to sign all the official documents to make the sale final. A neutral third party (usually a closing agent or law firm) will handle the process and walk you through each document. 

Need Help?

At Oak City Properties, we have been helping those in the Raleigh area purchase and sell homes for years! Whether you are a family trying to purchase a home or an investor wanting to diversify their rental portfolio, our full-service property management company is here to help.

If you are interested in learning more about our services or speak to our listing agents, give us a call at (919)-232-9222 or check out our website: https://oakcityproperties.com

Want to Learn More?

Take a look at a few of your other blogs about buying homes