In 2018, over five million houses were sold in the United States. House sales make millions of dollars for homeowners every year.

Buying a house for dummies is a big commitment and an enormous investment; a lot of determination, time, and money go into making it possible. The financial freedom and sense of worth that comes with a house make every effort completely worth it.

Are you looking to buy a house and enjoy the benefits of living under your own roof, but don’t know where to start?

You’re in luck.

Here is a simple 8-step guide to buying a house for dummies. It should help you get your hands on a house without making any wrong moves.

Is it a Good Time to Buy?

The first question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I ready to become a homeowner?” Can you afford it and is it the right time to buy?

Evaluate your finances carefully, consider current and future income to work out whether you can pay for the property.

Do some research on the current real estate trends in the area you’re looking to buy. Find out whether the houses in your price range are actually what you expect.

Finally, use your current career path and lifestyle to determine whether buying a house is the right move. For instance, if there is a chance you might relocate in a few years, then there is no need to buy.

If everything is a go, it’s time to start making preparations.

Save Some Cash

Prepare financially for the big purchase. Even if you are hoping to finance the purchase using a mortgage, you still need a considerable sum of money to make a deposit. Mortgages require a 20% cash deposit on the value of the property.

You also need some money for closing costs and other prepaid expenses. Don’t forget the cost of moving in, which may include renovations, remodeling, and furnishing.

Clear any debts that you might already have and safeguard your credit score. Then set aside some cash from your monthly budget till you have enough to get you started.

Get Preapproved for Mortgage

78% of all houses in the U.S. are bought under a mortgage. Chances are you’ll also be looking to go down the same path.

Find out the mortgage options available for you, and how much the lender is willing to give. The lender will assess your income, spending, outstanding loans, assets, and the down payment to determine your financial abilities.

You will then discuss the mortgage plan. Buyers are always advised to go for a fixed-rate conventional loan because the interest rates don’t change. Also, go for a shorter loan term whose installments you are comfortable with.

The lender will give you a pre-approved letter, which you can use to express your seriousness to potential sellers.

Buying a House for Dummies: Can’t Do Without a Real Estate Agent

At this stage, you need to seek expert assistance. Find the best real estate agent in your area to help you find and close on a house.

A good real estate agent should have significant experience in the local market. The agent should also have exceptional negotiation and communication skills to make the most favorable deal.

The realtor will give you valuable advice about buying property in the area and guide you in finding your dream house.

Make sure to work out the fees and payment details before engaging. Typically, realtors take a small percentage of the property value as finder’s fee.

Go House Hunting

In most cases, you’ll have to make a few compromises, but don’t set the bar too low.

Look past the surface features of the house. The critical details to consider are the state of the neighborhood, the value of the nearby property, available amenities, and the history of the house and area.

Remember not to show overwhelming interest in any house; this may take away some of your bargaining power. Exhaust all available options before settling for one.

Make an Offer

It’s now time to get serious and break out the paperwork. Discuss the terms of purchase with the seller in a one-on-one negotiation, along with your real estate agent.

This is where negotiation skills come into play. There may be a heated debate when it comes to agreeing on the price and contingencies. Negotiations are all about flexibility and compromise. Accept that you may lose some battles and learn when to keep your foot down and when to give in.

A solid offer contains all the details of the transaction, including contingencies, price, items sold with the house, deposit amount, and the closing date.

Get the Property Inspected

Find out whether the sellers live up to their end of the bargain by exercising your right to conduct a home inspection and appraisal.

A home inspection is a thorough examination of the house to look for flaws and damages. If the inspector finds any problems, you could ask the seller to lower the asking price. If serious concerns are raised about the state of the property like unstable build or severe water damage, then back out of the deal.

An appraisal values the house to ensure that the seller did not exaggerate the price.

Close the Deal

Once all conditions are met, and you are comfortable with the price and the house, don’t wait any longer – close the deal.

There is a lot of paperwork and signing involved, such as tax compliance, fees, insurance, mortgage approval, and ownership transfer.

Once all that is done, the house is yours.

It Isn’t Too Difficult

This is a simplified guide on buying a house for dummies – nothing is complicated. Although we have left out most of the details of the buying process, you at least now know the general steps to follow.

A house is a lifetime investment and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You might get stuck a few times along the way, but the important thing is that eventually, you get your desired home.  If you’ve set your sights on owning a home, don’t let anything stop you.

Please read our blog for more tips.