If you’ve been thinking about buying a home and are unsure of the steps involved or even where to start, then this 14-part series is a MUST read for you.
Each week, you’ll get great tips and easy-to-understand how-to’s that will help you be successful in purchasing a home in today’s market. And, it’s all delivered to you in sequential order, so you know what to do when … one bite-sized chunk at a time!
I understand that this is all new for you, and this series will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and calm any fears you may have about “not knowing what you don’t know.”
Week 1: A First-Timer’s Guide – This is an introduction to this Love Buying a Home series (what you’re reading right now!). It gives a breakdown of all the topics week-by-week. Read below for more information about this excellent series for first-time buyers.
Week 2: How to Find the Very Best Buyer’s Agent — You want to choose a real estate agent who is the right person to represent YOU through the many steps in buying a home. Think about what’s important to you and what you are looking for in a home, and then make sure your agent has the experience that meets these specific needs and goals.
Week 3: How Your Needs and Desires Lead to “Home Sweet Home”
— You’ll get a breakdown of the honest questions no one else is asking you about your home search and the exact questions you need to ask yourself BEFORE you start house hunting. This list goes way beyond how many bedrooms and baths you want. You’ll learn that this often overlooked step will determine everything that happens during your entire home-buying experience.
Week 4: Do the Math — A Mortgage You Can Afford – Figure out how much home you REALLY can afford! You’ll get a formula for determining how to arrive at the exact price range that works for your budget to get a home you love that doesn’t change your current lifestyle. No buyer wants to be stretched too thin (or be shortchanged!). Learn how to do the math to know the monthly payment for every home you see out there.
Week 5: Where to Find Money for Your Down Payment – Learn all the secret ways to get more bang for your down-payment buck. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, I want to make sure you aren’t putting every dollar you have into being a homeowner. You’ll figure out the “right” down payment amount for your goals and budget and learn how to find cash if you don’t have enough funds in your savings.
Week 6: Five Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage — Have you ever tried to make sense of all the mortgage options available? It’s not “one-size-fits-all” these days. You’ll get a rundown of the various mortgage options and the low down on private mortgage insurance (PMI), and why you may need it (and why it’s not all that bad!). Once you’re pre-approved for a loan, you’re ready to start looking at homes seriously.
Week 7: It’s the Fun “House Hunting” Guide — House hunting can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. Find out how you can shop productively (and strategically!) with tactics that will streamline your search. You’ll know what to look for and what to avoid, the pros and cons of condos and townhomes, and the real deal with “as is” homes.
Week 8: Make a Winning Offer Without Going Overboard – You’ve found a home you love and want to buy, but what’s next? No worries since we’ve got all the steps covered: figuring out your offer price, determining your earnest money deposit, some clever negotiation tactics, and even how to compete with multiple offers.
Week 9: Under Contract: Locking in Your Mortgage and Getting a Home Appraisal — Did you know that you have to wait until after you are under contract to lock in your interest rate? (See, you are already learning something!) Here’s how to work with your lender to avoid any possible fluctuations and more money out of your pocket. Plus, the bank loaning your money requires you to get the home appraised at this time, and here’s the scoop on that.
Week 10: How to Navigate a Home Inspection — You don’t want any surprises after moving in, right?! It is best to have both old and new homes inspected. Here’s the breakdown of what to expect during your home inspection, the most critical parts of an examination, and what to do if any red flags arise.
Week 11: Review those Condo Docs! — This step happens AFTER you are under contract. It seems backward, but that’s how the process works. You’ll only have a few days to read sometimes hundreds of pages of documents, so this handy guide will help prepare you. Purchasing a condo unit is like buying into a business, so you need to know how financially sound the entire condo community is before finalizing your contract.
Week 12: Almost There … Pre-Closing Details for Buyers –You have a few more details to handle before the big day, and here’s a breakdown of what’s next on your lists, such as obtaining hazard insurance and a home warranty (and why), and when/how to connect utilities for your new home. You want to be prepared and ready to ensure a smooth transition to becoming the owner of this home.
Week 13: How to Make Your Closing a Success — You’ve finally made it! But, there are still lots of items to cross off your to-do list, including your walk-through, getting title insurance, and your closing costs. This handy list will make sure you’re prepared and ready for this eventful day to end with your new home’s keys in your hand.
Week 14 BONUS: Maintaining Your New Home – Here’s all you need to know as a new homeowner. Your life changes when you walk through that front door, and you’re now responsible for everything (not a landlord!) There is a lot to understand: how your home works, paying the electric bill, keeping home and repair documents organized, and making sure you schedule regular maintenance and upkeep throughout the year.
I hope you enjoy this weekly series and learn a lot.
Be sure to email me at least two to three months before you’d want to start looking for a home so we can get all your ducks in a row well before we start seeing homes! Know that each buyer has unique circumstances, and I’d love to talk to you about yours. We can put together a plan for how to make your first home a reality.
I'm Tehane, a local realtor, helping locals buy, sell, and stay local. Schedule a conversation, and let's talk about your current situation and where you want to be.. Then, let's create a plan to get you there. Every journey begins with the first step!
BHGRE Advantage Realty
4211 Waialae Avenue, Box 9050
Honolulu, HI. 96816
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