Home Buying Checklist: The Ultimate Guide for Making an Offer

Home buying checklist, let us be your guide.

Ready to embark on the journey of becoming a homeowner? Hold on to your hats, folks, because we’re about to take you on a guided trip through our home buying checklist and all the steps you need to take to make your dreams come true.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Budget

Alright, so you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a house. But before you go all out and start scrolling through Zillow, it’s time to figure out just how much cash you’ve got to work with. The National Association of Realtors says the median home price in the US was $353,500 in 2021, but unless you’re a millionaire, that might be a bit steep. So, put on your thinking cap and get realistic about your finances. You don’t want to get your heart set on a castle only to find out it’s way out of your budget.

Step 2: Get Yourself a Real Estate Wizard

Unless you’ve got a crystal ball and a magic wand, you’re going to need a pro to help you out with this one. Enter the real estate agent, your knight in shining armor in the world of home buying. These wizards know the game like the back of their hand and will guide you through every twist and turn. According to the National Association of Realtors, 91% of homebuyers used an agent in 2021, so don’t be a weirdo and try to go it alone. Do your research and find someone who knows their stuff, has good reviews, and won’t screw you over.

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Step 3: Get Your Wish List Ready

Now that you’ve got your finances and wizard on lockdown, it’s time for the fun part: making a wish list of all the things you want in your dream home. Do you need a backyard big enough for a petting zoo? A garage for your classic car collection? A kitchen fit for Gordon Ramsay himself? Get creative and dream big. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, but don’t forget to keep an open mind. You never know what you might fall in love with.

Step 4: Time to Hunt for a House

Alright, champ, time to put your wish list to the test and start looking at houses. Don’t be discouraged by a little wear and tear or a weird smell (maybe don’t go for the house that smells like cat pee). Focus on the potential of the house and how it can meet your needs. Remember, you’re not just buying a house; you’re buying a whole lifestyle. You want to make sure the neighborhood, community, and overall vibe are a good fit for you and your squad.

Step 5: Check It Out with a Home Inspection

You’ve found the one! The house of your dreams! But before you pop the champagne, it’s time to get real and schedule a home inspection. Think of it as a doctor’s appointment for your new house. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 80% of homebuyers hire an inspector before closing on a home. This is a major step in ensuring you’re making an informed decision and uncovering any potential issues with the house. Don’t skip it unless you’re a masochist who enjoys throwing money away.

Step 6: Time to Make an Offer

You’ve done your homework, and now it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will help you determine a fair and reasonable price based on the current market and the condition of the home. But don’t forget to protect yourself by including contingencies like financing, inspection, and appraisal contingencies. You want to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes sideways.

Step 7: Closing the Deal

Congrats! Your offer on your dream home is accepted. To close the deal and make it official, review and sign paperwork, including the settlement statement and mortgage agreement. Watch out for closing costs, which average $6,087 in the US according to a 2021 report by ClosingCorp. Your lender can provide a cost breakdown. After all fees are paid, receive your new home’s keys and become a homeowner.

Conclusion

Buying a home is a big decision, but it can also be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these seven steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home and becoming a homeowner. Remember to stay within your budget, work with a real estate agent you trust, and keep an open mind throughout the process. And most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate when you finally get those keys!

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