When buying a home, there are several steps that you need to take before you make the actual purchase. Where do you want to live? How much can you afford to spend? How many bedrooms and square footage are required? You’ll need to find a real estate agent to help during the home buying process. Following the steps below will help make the process of buying a home smoother, saving you time and money.

Decide Where You Want to Live

Determining where you want to live will be one of the most important decisions that you’ll make when purchasing a home. Do you want to live in the city, in an urban area? Do you want to live in the suburbs? Would you rather live away from people, perhaps in the countryside? Other considerations may include area schools, proximity to shopping or entertainment, and commute times. These are all factors that you should consider when determining where you will want to live.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on your new home is crucial. Take into account the monthly mortgage payments, the initial down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. You do not want to purchase a home that you cannot afford and end up losing it a few years down the road because you cannot afford the monthly mortgage payments. Just as bad, you don’t want to live a house-poor lifestyle. Sit down with your real estate agent and discuss using a monthly mortgage calculator. Even better, get pre-approved for a home mortgage. Your pre-approval tells you exactly which price ranges to target.

Buying a Home You Need

Knowing the type and size of home that you want to purchase is also important. You’ll want to make a list of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you feel are necessary. Do you want a large amount of square footage, or are you comfortable with a smaller piece of property? Are you interested in a one-story home or a multi-story home? Do you want a large yard where you can plant trees and flowers, or do you prefer a condominium where they take care of the landscaping? Knowing what you want can help you stay focused when touring multiple homes.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Ask friends and family members for agent referrals. Look for a real estate agent who is dedicated to listening to your needs. You want a real estate agent who communicates at a high level, knows the local area, and is a strong negotiator. Your real estate agent has access to listings as soon as they hit the press. This is good news for you! That means you’ll get a chance to see homes before the people who simply rely on an online search. With your wish list in hand, the real estate agent can narrow down the homes to tour and save you time.

Offers, Inspections, and Closings

When you find the right house, you may be tempted to jump right in and pay what’s being asked, but your real estate agent may be able to negotiate a better price. Sit down and come up with a strong plan of action before placing an offer. Once your offer is accepted, the mortgage lender requires inspections and an appraisal. Be prepared to hit the negotiating table again if something negative shows up during an inspection. If all goes well, you’ll be on your way to closing day. At closing, you’ll pay any money owed, sign paperwork, and accept the keys to your new home.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Pam Hoefert a call today at 605-366-7119 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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