Becoming a homeowner requires planning and an understanding of the homebuying process. If you and your spouse think you are ready to embark on the journey to owning your own property, consider a few factors and read up to ensure you are properly prepared for this exciting endeavor.
Finding the perfect lender and real estate agent
Your mortgage lender and real estate agent are two very important people who can impact your homebuying experience. Choose wisely and find professionals who care about your journey toward homeownership.
When finding a lender, remember to always shop around. If you are looking for plane tickets for a vacation, you likely check in with a couple airlines and a few different times during the day before making your purchase. A home is a much larger investment and deserves even more of this type of mentality you use to buy other items and services. Find a variety of lenders and compare interest rates and how large of a loan they are willing to provide you with.
David Reed, a mortgage banker, noted when going to a lender, "don't automatically think you're going to get the best deal there," according to Bankrate.
If you are trying to find a real estate agent, consider asking friends and family if they have any recommendations. Their insight may help you find a particularly wonderful professional who can help you find he perfect home. Talk to a few different agents and ask about their experience and knowledge of specific areas you might be interested in. If you know the neighborhood you would like to live in, find a local professional. They have a better understanding of the market in the region and can help you immensely during your search for a new home.
When buying a new house, deciding whose name is on the title is an especially important part of the process. Realtor.com noted whether you are married before purchasing the property or whether you plan to get married after affects who legally owns the home. In some areas you can only list a home as community property if you are married which means you both legally own the property.
If you purchase a home while engaged, consider having a legal contract regarding ownership of the property in addition to the title. This way you can avoid potential issues in the future.
Know the process
Buying a home entails a few different steps. These include:
- Getting pre-approved for a loan
- Searching for and finding the perfect home
- Applying for a loan and officially qualifying
- Making an offer
- Having a home inspection
- Negotiating with the seller
- Closing on the house
Each of these steps serves a unique function to the homebuying process. Having a home inspection allows you to have a better idea of the house's condition, and being pre-approved for a loan gives you a leg up when making offers to a seller. Ensure that you understand each component and allow your lender and real estate agent to help you along the way.
Know how you can achieve each step successfully. Zillow noted that finding the perfect home means taking the time to decide what you want.
Your agent can be a priceless resource when negotiating an offer. He or she has a better idea of the true market value of a home and can help you decide when to offer more money and when you should put your foot down. While your real estate agent offers a great deal of knowledge and experience, don't hesitate to do a little research on your own. Find out what a typical home in the area you are looking to purchase property sells for and know whether you are in a buyer's or seller's market. This can help you understand the process a bit more and help boost your confidence in your decision to buy a home together.
Buying a home as a couple can also improve your relationship in some ways. You learn, experience and struggle together down the path to homeownership.
"Even the closest couples are still two separate people with two separate ideas and agendas," said Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist, according to realtor.com. "Embarking on the homebuying process together allows couples to connect and grow. "They learn how to be practical with each other and compromise … it bonds two people together and makes them family."
Enjoy the fruits of your labor
After everything is said and done, go ahead and celebrate. You might want to plan ahead by making reservations at a cool restaurant in your new neighborhood or treating yourself to a spa day after stress brought on by the negotiating process. This process can be a grueling one. However, it is incredibly rewarding. Celebrate your new life as a homeowner, have a few friends over and enjoy living in your very own home, and don't let anyone pressure you to have a baby yet.