For a first-time home buyer, the home buying process in Texas can appear intimidating. There is loan pre-approval, finding the right neighborhood, house hunting, home inspection, and many smaller steps that can easily overwhelm you. We want the home buying process to be as easy as possible for you, so we’ve put together a list of what to expect during the process of buying a home.
Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
You can be pre-qualified for a mortgage loan and apply for your home loan. Even if you are not qualified right now, the right loan officer will explain the steps you need to take to get there. Typically, the qualification process takes between 3 and 12 months. To get pre-approved for a home loan, you will fill out the loan application and submit supporting documents (such as your tax returns, bank statements, etc.). Once the loan is in process, you can get out those comfortable shoes and start looking at homes.
Search for Your Next Home
It is time for house hunting! Aside from closing day, house hunting is the most fun part of the home buying process. There are so many options available for exploration and you get to choose exactly the option that will work best for you and your family. NextHome realtors are here to guide you through your decision making process. Here are some questions to help you figure out which one will be the right home for you:
- What area of town is ideal for your commute?
- What neighborhood amenities are you looking for?
- Do you prefer new construction or a resale home?
- Where are the best schools?
Submit Your Offer
Once the house is found, it’s time for negotiation! Armed with the latest neighborhood information, NextHome Tropicana realtors guide you to make the right offer and submit it to the seller. Negotiation may require some back and forth as you discuss the details with the seller.
The negotiable details could include both the cost of the home, as well as things like: who pays for the home warranty, closing costs, title insurance, and more. Once everything is agreed upon, the offer becomes a contract. To seal the deal, some sellers require a deposit called earnest money sent to the title company. This shows your good faith in the transaction, which allows the sale to move to the next step.
Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection is essential for you to know exactly what you’re getting into. The inspector helps you identify any issues that the property might have. It’s conducted by a third party independent licensed inspector, and it is a must-do. A home is likely to be the largest purchase you will make, you want to scrutinize it and ensure that everything is up to par. If any repairs are needed, you can use that information to negotiate with the seller while the contract is in an option period. The option period is a short time frame, typically 10-15 days, after the contract is ratified.
This is the hardest part of the process only because you are anxiously awaiting the green light to get into the house. During this time, quite a few things take place behind the scenes. These include the home appraisal, survey, title work, and other behind the final loan-related checklists.
Appraisal is conducted by a licensed real estate appraiser who ensures that you are not paying more for the house than it is worth. Survey of the plot of land you are purchasing ensures that you are aware of underground utility lines and informs you of any setback lines where no permanent structure can be built, etc. Title policy highlights any deed restrictions that might prohibit a certain activity, ensures the title to the property does not have liens and encumbrances.
Final Walk-Through and Closing
To seal the deal, the buyer (you) conducts a final walk through with your realtor to ensure the house is still there and in good condition (i.e. it has not been burned down to the ground, ha ha ha). You are also checking to see that all of the repairs agreed to by the seller are complete with copies of the receipts. If all is well, a drive to the title company is the final step to sign your life away for the next 30 years (shorter terms like 15 or 20 year notes are available).