7 Simple Steps to Buying a Home
Whether you're completely new to home buying or you've bought a few homes in your lifetime, it never hurts to brush up on the home buying process. After all, knowing what to expect (and what mistakes to avoid) will help you save time and money between now and closing. Here are a few simple steps to follow if you're planning to buy a home in Columbus.
Step 1: Figure Out What You Can Afford
The first thing you should do when you've decided to buy a home in the Columbus area — even before you look at available properties (though it's hard not to!) — is to determine what you’ll be able to afford. Take a look at your budget and figure out what you'll be able to pay for your mortgage payments each month, as well as additional costs like homeowners insurance, taxes, and private mortgage insurance (if you aren't putting down 20%). Don't forget to factor in your initial down payment and closing costs.
This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.
Step 2: Shop for a Loan & Get Pre-Approved
This step goes hand in hand with finding out what you can afford. By getting pre-approved for your mortgage, your lender will be able to take a look at your finances and tell you how much financing you'll qualify for. When you're searching for a lender, get recommendations from people you trust, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to interview at least 3 lenders before making a decision.
Need recommendations for lenders in Columbus? Just ask!
Step 3: Research the Columbus Real Estate Market
The housing market in Columbus isn't the same from neighborhood to neighborhood. Before you start searching for homes, research the actual selling prices of homes in your desired communities — not just their listing prices — to figure out if you can afford a home with the space or features you need.
Have a particular neighborhood that you’d like to check? Ask us for a Columbus neighborhood sold report!
Step 4: Find an Agent You Trust
Your REALTOR® will help you quickly and easily find your ideal home, guide you through the home buying process, and make sure that you know what's going on every step of the way. Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert on real estate in Columbus and your desired neighborhood.
Looking for an agent in Columbus? Choose us! We're available to talk about our real estate experiences and how we can help you find your new home.
Step 5: Start Searching for Homes!
This is the step you've been waiting for! Searching for homes in Columbus is one of the best parts about buying a home, but it can easily get overwhelming. We recommend sticking with a "wants and needs" list, taking pictures and detailed notes when you visit properties, and signing up for listing alerts so you'll know about new listings that fit your criteria. Once you've picked the home you like, work with your agent to make an offer.
Step 6: Prepare for Closing
After you've made an offer, you'll need to work with your real estate agent to complete the necessary paperwork, negotiate a price with the home seller, finalize your mortgage application, and request a home inspection. Before you sign any paperwork, it’s important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies — that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren’t still obligated to buy the home.
Step 10: Close, Pay, and Move In
Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. After weeks of searching for homes and preparing for closing, it's finally time to get the keys to your new home! Congratulations!
Ready to Find Your New Home?
If you've been thinking of buying a home in Columbus, we're here to help. We're real estate experts in Columbus and its suburbs. Not only can we answer all of your questions about buying a home in our area, we can give you the resources you need to make an informed decision. Ready to start the process? Let's talk. Call us at 614-588-2673 (Ray) or 614-668-4996 (Carie).