The House Buying Process in Goose Creek, Summerville, SC
If you can afford a rent payment, you can afford a house payment.
Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, let’s explore what you can expect from the home buying process itself. This is a chaotic time with offers and counter-offers flying furiously, but if you are prepared for the hassle (and the paperwork), you can get through the process with your sanity more or less intact. Here is the basic progression you can expect:
- Find a home.
Make sure to take advantage of all the available options for finding homes on the market, including using your real estate agent, searching for listings online and driving around the neighborhoods that interest you in search of for-sale signs.
- Consider your financing options and secure financing.
First-time homebuyers have a wide variety of options to help them get into a home — both those available to any purchaser, including Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-backed mortgages, and those geared especially to neophytes. Many first-time home buyer programs offer minimum down payments as low as 3% to 5% (vs. the standard 20%), an First-timers should in particular:
Use HUD’s resource list. The FHA and its loan program is part of HUD.
Look to your IRA.
Don’t be bound by loyalty to your current financial institution when seeking a pre-approval or searching for a mortgage: Shop around, even if you only qualify for one type of loan. Fees can be surprisingly varied, as can mortgage interest rates, which of course have a major impact on the total price you pay for your home.
- Make an offer.
Your real estate agent will help you decide how much money you want to offer for the house along
Before submitting your offer, take another look at your budget. This time factor in estimated closing costs (which can total anywhere from 2% to 5% of the purchase price), commuting costs and any immediate repairs and mandatory appliances you may need before you can move in. with any conditions you want to ask for.
- Obtain a home inspection.
Even if the home you plan to purchase appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a trained professional inspect the property for the quality, safety and overall condition of your potential new home.
- Close or move on.
If you’re able to work out a deal with the seller, or better yet, if the inspection didn’t reveal any significant problems, you should be ready to close. Closing basically involves signing a ton of paperwork in a very short time period, while praying that nothing falls through at the last minute.
Things you’ll be dealing with and paying for in the final stages of your purchase may include having the home appraised (mortgage companies require this to protect their interest in the house), doing a title search to make sure that no one other than the seller has a claim to the property, obtaining private mortgage insurance or a piggyback loan if your down payment is less than 20%, and completing mortgage paperwork. Other closing costs can include loan-origination fees, title insurance, surveys, taxes and credit-report charges.