1. Find a Lender
First you need to see if you qualify for a home loan and, if you do, how much money you qualify for. You should look at your finances and determine how much you think you can afford, and then meet with a loan officer who will tell you what loan amount you qualify for.
2. Find a Real Estate Agent
Next you should find a real estate agent who is familiar with the housing market in Worthington, and who is experienced in buying the types of homes you’re looking at. Additionally, a real estate agent can help you with writing up an offer once you find a home, negotiating with the seller, and with any questions you have about the homebuying process.
3. Make 3 Lists
To help narrow down your search and to give your real estate agent direction on what houses to send you, make 3 lists.
List 1: Things you HAVE to have and can not live without
List 2: Things you would like to have but are not a deal breaker
List 3: Things you DO NOT want and will not buy a home if it has this
Keep in mind your lists might change, just remember to communicate that with your agent so they can continue to pull the right homes for you to see.
4. Search For Homes Online
Now you can begin the search for your home. You can do some research on your own by checking popular real estate listing sites, such as Zillow or Trulia, and you can also drive around neighborhoods in Worthington and look for “for sale” signs. If you want or need some help in searching for a home, you can ask your agent to suggest homes for you.
TIP: Most real estate websites have a lot of homes for you to search through. You need to know that not all of the information is accurate. Make sure that you talk to your real estate agent if you see a home online.
5. Do some research
The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Yes, the professionals you hire will help you along the way but to be fully prepared do your research. Start by answering these questions…
– How much can I afford?
– How much am I willing to pay?
– How much does it cost to buy a home? (down payment, inspections, closing costs, etc)
– How long does it take to close on a home?
– What is a “request to remedy”?
– Is it a buyers market or sellers market?
– Are there still “steals” out there?
– Am I willing to do a lot of repairs? If so is a 203k loan right for me?
The list goes on. Just make sure you are financially and mentally prepared for the process!