A Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Buying Process

Buying a home can be an exciting but complicated process. It requires careful planning, budgeting, research, time, and patience. However, working with a real estate professional can help you navigate this process and make buying a home feel effortless. Before you begin, review this step-by-step guide to the home buying process to learn what the journey ahead holds.

If you need assistance buying a home in Isle of Palms, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today.

Research Early

The more information you have about a city, a neighborhood, and a home that you like, the more confident you will be in your decision. Start paying close attention to the types of homes that you prefer, what their asking prices are, and how long they stay on the market. By doing careful research, you can determine whether you are working with a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, which can help you create a well thought out buying strategy.

If you have a specific neighborhood in mind in which you want to live, start checking it out now. Drive through it during the week, on the weekends, and in the evening. Get an idea about the commute time to and from your place of work and to the local schools. Look into local crime rates, and inquire if there are any plans for building in the immediate area that could impact home values.

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved is the first actionable step in buying a new home. There is nothing more heartbreaking than falling in love with a house, only to find out that you don’t qualify for a loan sufficient to buy it. Sellers see a mortgage pre-approval of evidence that you are a serious and qualified buyer, so once you get pre-approved, you can create a realistic and accurate budget.

To get pre-approved, you will provide some financial information, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have, to your mortgage banker. The lender will review the information and tell you how much you qualify for. With this information, you can create a realistic budget.

Generally, lenders recommend that the home you buy will cost no more than three to five times your annual household income. This is generally the case if you plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt.

Create a Budget

Once you are pre-approved, you can create a detailed and realistic budget. That being said, it’s important to work with a realtor that understands and respects your financial boundaries. It can be easy to fall in love with a home outside of your budget and look for ways to stretch your finances to make it happen, but this could be detrimental in the long run. Remember, even a home that is $50,000 over budget is not really $50,000 over budget. You must consider the interest you’ll pay on that extra $50,000 over time.

When you begin the home buying process, really commit to sticking with your budget. And, as you create this financial plan, leave room for unexpected costs. Along with the price of the home, you will need to factor in closing costs, home inspection fees, appraisal costs, and moving fees.

Find An Agent

Your chances of obtaining a quick and profitable sale depend significantly on who you choose to represent you. Working with a realtor can take a lot of the work and stress of home buying off of your shoulders. Seek out a realtor who has extensive knowledge about the area in which you’re looking, as well as expertise in the type of real estate you’re after.

For instance, if you’re looking specifically for waterfront real estate in areas like Isle of Palms, you’ll want to work with a realtor who knows the unique advantages and benefits of waterfront living. A realtor’s extensive network, in-depth knowledge of the market, and specialized resources can really help you find the home of your dreams much easier than you could on your own.

Contact Jimmy Carroll for assistance today.

Start House Hunting

This is when the home buying process gets fun! Begin browsing homes within your budget and narrowing down your search to the ones that have everything you need. Before you visit your first home, make a list of the things you want in a home versus what you need in a home. When you have a clear idea of your wants and needs, it will be easier to narrow down your search.

Examples of things you may need include the following:

  • A certain number of bedrooms
  • Layout (one story versus two stories)
  • Single home versus an apartment
  • Backyard area for pets/children

Examples of things you want might include:

  • A pool
  • Hardwood floors
  • Large windows
  • Skylights

Finding the perfect home can happen right away, or it can take a while. However, when it does happen, there are still a few more steps to take before you can claim it as yours.

Schedule The Home Inspection

A home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process. It gives you a detailed report of the home you’re interested in buying, and lets you know of any potential problems. A home inspection looks at the foundation, the walls, the roof, interior plumbing, electrical systems, windows, doors, and other critical aspects of the home. When a third party reviews the house and looks carefully for any issues or problems, the result is an honest, accurate, and unbiased report of the house. If you’re satisfied with the findings after the inspection is complete, you can move on to the closing stage.

Close The Deal

Closing day is an exciting day. This is the final stage of the home buying process, where buyers finish all paperwork, pay closing costs, and finalize the last of the details. When everything is complete, the seller hands over the keys, and your dream home is officially yours!

Choose Jimmy Carroll Realty

We hope this step-by-step guide to the home buying process has helped you see what lies ahead in your real estate journey. While it may seem like a complicated process, if you have a knowledgeable realtor like Jimmy Carroll on your team, you can navigate each stage with confidence. If you’re ready to take the first step to owning a new home in the Isle of Palms area, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today!