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How To Buy A House: 21 Things You’ll Do As A Homebuyer

By Dan Green

This year, millions of Americans will become first-time homeowners. Maybe you want to be one of them. The good news is that the path to homeownership as a homebuyer may be simpler than you think — you might not even need a down payment.

So, You Want To Buy A Home

To buy a home, you need three things:

That’s it.

You don’t need money saved up for down payment, you don’t need a huge income or perfect credit, and — because a home buyer’s real estate agent is paid by the seller — you don’t even need to pay for the expert advice and hand-holding you’ll get throughout the process.

There’s something special about having a place to call your own.

When you’re ready to stop renting and start owning, you can do it. The trick is to plan ahead. You can’t buy a home last-minute.

When you plan ahead, you stay in control.

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Home Buyers Can Expect Certain Things

How you buy a home has a lot to do with your personality.

Brain-driven thinkers tend to use spreadsheets to organize; websites to research; and, benefits lists to decide which home is best.

Heart-driven thinkers use emotion and feeling; photos and mapping; and home tours to make their decision.

Everyone’s process for buying a home, though, is pretty much the same.

First, you’ll mentally prepare for buying a home; a process which can take up to one year or longer, in some cases.

Then, you’ll begin to think about the numbers:

Can I afford to buy a home?” you’ll wonder. “How can I make this work.”

Next, you’ll start searching for homes in earnest, and realize you can do this. Soon, you’ll narrow down your list and find a home on which to make an offer.

And, that’s when it starts to get fun.

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With an agreement to buy a home in place, you’ll start shopping for furniture and making plans for moving in. You’ll get your TV and internet set up; you’ll make plans to get an alarm system.

You’ll choose your mortgage rate and get your loan approved. Everything will be moving along and then it will be time to move in.

On the day you move in, you’ll get yourself comfortable, unpack all your boxes, and change the locks on the doors. You’ll set up your alarm and spot clean around the house.

That night, you’ll sleep in your new bedroom for the very first time and it will be an exciting night for everyone.

You’ve done it. You’ve bought a home.

21 Things To Help You With Buying A Home

The exact details of how you buy a house will be different from how your neighbor did it; how your family member did it; or, how your best friend did it.

However, there are a series of steps that everyone follows. Here’s what you can expect as a future home buyer.

Part 1: Before You Make An Offer On A Home

  1. Visualize yourself as a homeowner
  2. Make a choice about your budget
  3. Ask a mortgage lender to double-check your numbers
  4. Connect with a good real estate agent
  5. Narrow your short list of homes
  6. Submit a formal offer to buy

Click here for how to buy a new home.

Part 2: After Your Offer Gets Accepted

  1. Have the house inspected for defects and irreparable damage
  2. Hire a moving truck
  3. Get with your mortgage lender to finalize your monthly payment
  4. Get insurance to protect your house from weather-related damage
  5. Pre-order your home security system
  6. Set up your utilities, including TV, internet, electric
  7. Get your lawn care, gutter cleaning, and other services ready to go
  8. Wait, wait, wait while everyone does their jobs for you
  9. Sign your paperwork and get your keys

Click here for things to do before closing on a house.

Part 3: Now That You’re A Homeowner

  1. Replace your locks with a locksmith
  2. Install your home security system
  3. Have your heater, A/C unit, and water heater inspected
  4. Shop for an auto insurance discount
  5. Submit a change of address to the USPS
  6. Establish auto-pay on your mortgage

Click here for The First 6 Things Every New Homeowner Should Do.

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Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a mortgage lending expert and the founder of Growella. Prior to Growella, Dan was a six-time, top-producing loan officer; and, ranked repeatedly among the top 1% of loan officers nationwide. Dan's home buying expertise has been in print and on TV with The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, CNBC, and others.

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