In Part 1 of A New Home Journey, we covered the early steps of the home buying process for getting your finances in order, getting pre-approved, and starting to shop for your new home. In this month’s blog, I will cover what you can expect once you’ve finally found the home of your dreams and you’re ready to move forward with an offer and purchase.
Step 1: Making an Offer
Once you have found the house you want to buy, it’s time to place an offer. There are many ways to go about this, but understanding how booming the housing market is may influence how much of an offer you make. For example, right now, the housing market is experiencing a very high demand for home purchases, resulting in houses selling for more than the asking price.
I have friends that are selling and buying houses in the current market. In one instance, a seller said their home had 10+ offers after being on the market for just a weekend. Another friend who is buying placed an offer on a house for 20K more than the asking price and still didn’t get it. The main point I want to make is, don’t fall in love with a house before you know you will be able to buy it.
Although the market is hot, take your time, and don’t overpay to get a house. Make an offer within your budget, and hope the seller accepts. If not, move on and keep looking. This leads me to my next topic:
Step 2: Have a Lot of Patience
The number one advice I give to anyone I know jumping into the home buying process is patience. Things take time, and almost nothing moves quickly. Even during the crazy market we have now, there are still many steps of paperwork, inspections, negotiations, and so on that can extend the process to several months.
Let me give you an example of my own experience, which I would consider typical. I placed an offer on a Monday and didn’t hear back until Friday with a counter-offer. After submitting another counter-offer and some additional back and forth, we had spent a solid two weeks just negotiating the price. After agreeing to the terms, it was another week until the inspection happened. While all of this was going on, paperwork from my lender was being handled. In my situation, when everything was finalized, we had another week or two to go to wait for the loan underwriters to approve everything.
So, again I want to reiterate, go into the process with a lot of patience. I know the excitement can make it difficult from the first-hand experience, but try your best to stay in control and let the process work itself out.
Step 3: Finalizing your Mortgage
You’ve found the house you want, you’ve placed an offer, all inspections have passed, and you have a closing date; you can finally see the finish line. After what will be one of the most stressful times in your life, you can finally see the goal in sight, and your new home is but a few short days or weeks away. Your last step consists of signing paperwork and finalizing the mortgage. Let me rephrase that to say you will sign A LOT of paperwork. The good part is, most of the things you are signing have probably been seen or looked at along the way, so it should make sense. That said, make sure to take your time and verify everything as you go.
Once the closing is complete, you’ll get a move-in date for your new home, and all that’s really left is breathing a sigh of relief and enjoying your brand-new home!
Moved In, What Comes Next?
In the last two New Home Journey blogs, I covered what you can expect during the home buying process. But where most mortgage blogs end, I want to continue and share some advice on what happens after you’ve moved in. As a first-time homebuyer, you will learn many new things you might have anticipated and many you didn’t expect. Join me next time for Part 3 of a New Home Journey, where I will cover what to expect in your first year after moving into your new home.
Astera Credit Union