The home-buying process can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. These eight simple steps will make finding your first (or next) home a breeze.
1. Figure out what you can afford.
This is your starting point. Your budget will help you decide everything from square footage to which Austin neighborhood you’ll buy in to whether you purchase a new custom build or an older house. If you’re looking at an older home, remember that part of your budget may go toward updating and renovating the house.
2. Get pre-approved for a loan.
Be sure to get pre-approval before submitting an offer. Establishing a relationship with a mortgage broker and confirming your budget are important steps regardless of how much you’re planning to spend. Loan pre-approval will also help the formal loan approval process go smoothly after your offer is accepted.
3. Visit open houses and decide on both features and neighborhood.
Visiting already built homes will give you ideas about floor plans, room sizes, and what comforts and amenities you want in a home. You’ll also get to explore different Austin neighborhoods.
4. Find a realtor.
Even if you want to purchase a new build or custom home, a realtor can provide comparable prices and help you avoid overpaying or overlooking any details. Your realtor is your representative and will ensure the process is smooth, legal, and fair.
5. Talk with custom home builders and do your own research.
Make sure the builder has up-to-date licenses and positive reviews from previous clients. If you can, talk with previous clients about their experiences. Make sure you’re working with a qualified, trustworthy team. After familiarizing yourself with the builder, take a look at the community as well. Does it offer any amenities, and are the existing houses experiencing any issues?
6. Submit an offer.
Just like buying an older or already built home from a previous owner through a realtor, you can negotiate the price on a new-construction home. Once your offer is accepted, you can move on to the next step.
7. Get an inspection.
Many people expect new construction homes to be flawless, but it’s always important to get an inspection. An inspector can identify potential issues long before the warranty on your new home expires, which will save you money in the long run.
8. It’s yours!
Now you’ll get your keys and embark on the adventure of personalizing your home. Stay tuned for future posts on landscaping, home renovations, and more.