Looking for the perfect home in West Michigan? If you’re not familiar with the entire home-buying process, here’s a handy guide that we hope will help get you to the doorstep of your new home in no time:
1. Take a look at your financial situation.
Before you even decide to look for a home, it’s a good idea to assess your financial situation. Can you afford to buy a home on your own? How big a loan will you need to take out? It’s just as important to determine if your credit rating is good, add up your monthly expenses, and assess your income to find out exactly what you can afford.
2. Get in touch with a real estate agent.
Having a local real estate agent guide you through the home-buying process is always a good move. Seek an agent with experience, knowledge, and expertise. Look for one who knows the local real estate market very well, as this will significantly increase your chances of finding your ideal home.
3. Start searching.
When looking for a home, create a checklist with two columns: one for MUST-HAVES and the other for RED FLAGS. Doing this will greatly help you narrow down potential properties. If you’re not really looking for any specific feature, create a list of your long-term needs and goals.
Once you’ve zeroed in on a property you’re keen on, make an offer and back this up with an earnest money deposit to underline the seriousness of your intention. There are times when the seller will accept your offer right away, but negotiating is the norm. Here’s where your Realtor steps in: a good agent will represent your best interests during negotiation.
5. Have the home inspected.
This is one of the most important steps in the home-buying process: putting the property’s integrity to the test. Are there potential defects that may require repair? If so, can this fact be used as a bargaining chip during negotiations? It’s also a good idea to hire specialists such as geotechnical engineers, pest inspectors, or environmental contractors because the property’s more serious issues might not surface during a standard home inspection.
6. Seal the deal.
Before you close the deal, make sure you perform a final walkthrough of the property, just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Important documents will be signed and processed, and payments will be settled once you and the seller agree that all is in order.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a West Michigan home!