First-time homebuying: Steps to buying a home

Buying a home is a huge milestone in your life, with an overwhelming but rewarding experience.

Homebuying requires a lot of time and effort, but with these steps, you can make the process stress-free, making it easy to make the best decisions on the home of your dreams.

Get pre-qualified

Before you start your search, it is important to know how much you can spend. By getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, you will receive an official determination on your budget and the price range of the homes you should look at. A pre-qualification lets you know how much you can borrow but is not a commitment to lend by the Bank. Not only does it show your ambition to buy, but it also is helpful when you submit an offer. You could be competing with other offers on the table.

To get pre-qualified, you’ll need to provide financial information such as income and savings. Later, you will provide financial documents including W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, and bank statements when you’re ready to move forward with your mortgage application.

Start your research

When you’re ready to start looking, research the types of homes you are interested in. It’s important to see how long houses stay on the market and stay on top on asking price changes.

You should also consider where you would like to live and what you want as a buyer. Research the areas the prospective houses are located.

How much house can you afford?

You can determine how much house your can afford based on your own financial situation. Before you are ready to get pre-qualified, review your spending and savings habits to get a sense of what you can afford. You should take your annual income, monthly debts, estimated down payment amount, and other criteria into consideration.

Based on your wish list of must-have features in your home, you’ll get a better idea of your price point. Size, location, and amenities can affect the price of a home. These can include number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, type of home, and other features.

Find a real estate agent

Real estate agents can be a huge asset when buying or selling a home. They provide helpful information on homes and the neighborhoods that you may not have access to. Real estate agents’ knowledge of the home buying process can be valuable, especially for first-time homebuyers. As a buyer, an agent’s services don’t cost you anything. They earn commission through the seller.

Begin your search

It’s now time to start your hunt for a home. As you conduct your home search, be flexible. Try to tour as many houses in your price range while observing the details of each home and evaluating the neighborhood. You may have to adjust your wish list of must-have features depending on your search. For instance, you might sacrifice an extra bathroom or bedroom to be in a desired neighborhood.

Make an offer

When you’ve found the right home, make your offer with the help of your real estate agent. Decide on a fair price and, if needed, some room for negotiation. You should also consider any disclosures of any issues with the home, closing date, contingencies, and earnest money.

Get an inspection

In the home buying process, purchase offers are contingent on an inspection of the home to check for damages or repairs. Your real estate agent can help you arrange for an inspection. They are usually scheduled within a week of signing a contract. It is recommended that you attend to have a better understanding of the home. Your agent usually attends as well.

A home inspection protects you if significant damage is found. It gives you the opportunity to renegotiate or withdrawal your offer without penalty. After the inspection, you will receive a report on the findings and then decide if you would like the seller to fix anything before closing. You’ll have the opportunity to walk through before closing to review the agreed-upon repairs.

Secure your financing

You’ll need to submit a mortgage application. Much like your pre-qualification, you’ll have to provide update financial statements. Remember to respond quickly to any requests to avoid any delay in your closing.

At Adirondack Bank, we have a variety of mortgage products such as conventional and FHA with convenient terms and competitive rates. Let our team of professionals and dedicated staff help you choose the product that’s right for you. Visit or a mortgage loan originator for more details.

Have the home appraised

Adirondack Bank arranges for an appraiser to provide an estimate on the home’s value. This is third-party company that isn’t associated with the lender. The appraisal details if you are paying a fair price for the home.

Get your homeowners insurance policy

You will need proof of a homeowners insurance policy before closing. Shop around for the policy that works best for you.

Close the sale

Before or day of closing, you’ll have a final walk-through to review the property and any repairs the seller completed.

During your closing, you will sign all the paperwork to complete the purchase. Expect to spend an hour at the title company. You should also bring funds to cover your closing costs.

Move into your new home

Once you’ve signed all the documents, congratulations – you’re ready to move it! You can set up utilities such as electric and water for your home.

The information is this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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