6 Months to Homeownership
The home buying process should not be rushed. The purchase of your next home is likely you biggest purchase of your life, and if you rush in, you will make costly mistakes. It is our belief that the ideal amount of time the home buying process should take is 6 months. So created a program based on what should happen in each of those six months. If you are more than 6 months, you can still follow this program, and if you are less than six months from buying a home, there is still time for you to catch up.
6 Months Away
Create a needs and wants list.
You probably already have a good idea of what you are looking for in a home. Write them out and put them into two categories: Needs and Wants.
Start interviewing Realtors.
Yes, you should interview multiple agents. Let them know you are 6 months away. That will eliminate a few. A Realtor will help you stay on track and help get you in the best position to buy a home when you are ready.
Have a Lender look at your finances.
Talking to a lender can be scary. But starting 6 months in advance, will give you time to fix any problems or surprises without delaying your time frame.
4 Months Away
Continue to Follow Lender's Game Plan
The Lender's plan will likely take a few months to follow. Stay disciplined and continue the plan. Sacrifices now, will be worth it when you move into your new home.
Look at homes that match your search that recently sold.
Have the Realtor you are working with send you a list of homes that match your search that have sold in the past 3 months. This will show you what homes in your search actually look like. This will also tell you how fast homes in your search are selling, if they are selling under or over list price. and if your home search is too narrow, or too broad. This all about setting expectations.
2 Months Away
Become Pre-Approved by the lender
By now you should have completed the lender's game plan and are now pre-approved for a mortgage (not just pre-qualified). if you haven't yet and it is a requirement to qualify, keep working on that.
Start House Hunting in Person
Now is the time to start looking at homes in person with your Realtor. In this market, there may be no homes for sale that match your search. Be patient, and have your Realtor set you up on a property notifications that email you as soon as a home matching your search hits the market.
Pick up the Keys!
Congratulations you are now a Homeowner!
5 Months Away
Create a Budget
Start saving for your down payment, closing costs, inspection fees and reserve funds. Figure our how much money you need to save, and divide it into weekly or monthly goals. Tip: If your expected Mortgage payment will be more than your current payment, start saving the difference, so you know what your life will look like with the higher payment.
Follow Lender's Game Plan
After you talked to the lender, they likely created a game plan for you. This game plan will get you in the best position to buy a home. Whether the plan is required for you to qualify, or to just get you a better interest rate, stick to the plan.
3 Months Away
Continue to Follow Lender's Game Plan
Once again, stick to the game plan. Temptations will start to appear, but keep your eyes on the prize. Your new home!
Adjust your home search criteria
Make the necessary changes to your home search based on what you find out looking at the home that sold.
Start looking at homes for sale online
Have the Realtor that you are working with send you a list of homes for sale that match your search criteria. Go through the list and tell your Realtor what you like and dislike about each home. This will help them find the right home when its time to buy.
1 Month Away
Get your offer accepted
Once you find a home you love, work with your Realtor to draw up an offer. In this market, it is common to compete against other offers, and you make have to make several offers, before one is accepted.
Inspect the Home
Once your offer is accepted. Have the home inspected by licensed home inspector, termite inspector, and Roofing company. If you find anything of concern work with your Realtor to negotiate to have them fixed.
Complete the Loan Process
After your offer is accepted, the lender will ask for additional information multiple times, sometimes for the same documents you already sent them. Try not to get too annoyed with them and send them over in a timely manner.