Buy a Home
Steps to Buying a Home
Do your homework and start planning. Ask yourself why you want to buy and why you are planning a move. Determine what features you want in a house and a timeframe you would like to make it happen.
Check your credit and get your finances in order. Contact CBY Systems (link) (717) 843-8685 to find out how to get a copy of your credit report. Meet with a lender to find out how much you can afford and get pre-approved.
Hire a REALTOR®. Ask your family and friends for a referral. Buying real estate is complex. A REALTOR® can help you through the maze of many details throughout the real estate transaction.
Review housing considerations – price, location, size, amenities and design when looking for a home. Prioritize what’s important to you and your REALTOR® will help you find homes closest to your needs.
Pick a Home
This is where you’ll live, relax, entertain, and work. Yes, a lot of work goes into owning a home! A REALTOR® will help you present an offer to the seller.
Show Me the Money
A REALTOR® can connect you with possible lenders. Shopping for a mortgage is like shopping for any other large purchase. You can save money by comparing interest rates and fees. Many factors are considered when applying for a mortgage – income, current debt, credit score, how much you have saved for a down payment, etc. A lender will help you determine what type of financing best suits your needs.
Play it Safe
Once approved, there are still many details that need to be addressed. Insurance is one of them. Common types associated with home ownership include:
- Title insurance – is purchased with a one-time fee at closing. It protects owners in the event that the title to the property is found to be invalid.
- Homeowners insurance – provides fire, theft and liability coverage for the house and its belongings such as furniture.
- Flood insurance – may be required in high-risk flood areas.
- Home warranties – for new homes a warranty typically covers workmanship for one year, mechanical problems for the first two years and structural defects for up to 10 years. For existing homes, warranties are basically a one-year service agreement.
Settlement or closing, is a process where all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction is signed and the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
While this is the end of the buying aspect, it is just the beginning of making the American Dream come true. Hold on to all the papers from settlement and keep them in a safe place. They will help establish tax deductions. Also, you will need to make arrangements for the transfer of utilities – water, sewage, gas, electric, oil service, phone, cable, etc.
For most home buyers and sellers, a home is the largest investment they will ever make. The average price of a home in York County for 2008 was $164,900, and in Adams County the median sales price for a home in 2008 was $198,451. If someone had a $100,000 tax problem, they would most likely consult the services of an accounting professional, or if they had a $100,000 legal question, they would probably consult an attorney. Real estate is no different. Weighing the cost of the sales commission versus the services rendered, the choice to work with a real estate professional, particularly one who is a REALTOR®, is a wise one. It will save you time, money and headaches.
If you have not previously worked with a REALTOR®, talk with your family members, friends and neighbors to ask them about the services they received from their REALTOR®. Then contact several who have been recommended and make appointments with them to find a professional who you feel will best represent your buying or selling interests.