How To Buy Your First Home

What does it take to buy a home? Well, that is what we are going to be talking about today, and we are going to get started right now! 

Hello, I am Ledeana Strand with homes by Strand, and RE/MAX Town and Country in Port Orchard Wa. Thank you for tuning into today. And if this is your first time here, consider subscribing by clicking the subscribe button down below, and that little bell for notifications.

So, today I’ll be sharing with you the eight steps to buying your first home. So let’s get started. The first thing to do is to meet with a lender and get pre approved. It’s also important to note how much money you’re going to have to put down.

A lot of people still think you need a 20% down payment to buy a home. The reality is 3.5% is usually more than enough, and 5% is really the maximum that you have to have. So, doing these things ahead of time sets you up for success down the road.

The 2nd step is to hire a realtor to be your buyer’s agent throughout the process. There are a lot of moving parts when buying a home, and you could stand to lose thousands of dollars. The reality is you could do this before meeting with the lender, but meeting with the lender and hiring a real estate agent are the two first steps to take in order to buy your first home.

It’s also important to understand that when you hire a buyer’s agent to represent you, you’re rarely going to have pay them. Most of the time they will be paid by the seller, so don’t worry about having to fork over any extra money, especially right out of the gate, but it is so key to have somebody who’s going to work with and represent you and look out for your needs throughout the process.

Now that those steps are taken care of, it’s time to start having some fun and looking at houses. The best part is with technology nowadays, you don’t have to see everything in person. 

There’s tons of great websites and apps and your agent will be able to send you houses tailored to your needs and that means you might only see one or two houses before putting in an offer.

That’s what happens when you’re able to weed out all the properties that don’t fit your needs through your computer instead of having to see them all in person, so don’t be afraid if one of the first ones you see in person is one that you end up writing an offer on.

The next step is putting in an offer when you find the right property for you. This may seem obvious, but the reality is, in Kitsap County ,we’re still in a strong seller’s market, and if you take too much time to write that offer, you might miss out on the property that you’re after.

Now that we’ve got your offer accepted, it’s time for the home inspection. A home inspection is exactly what it sounds like.

It’s inspecting the home to see what kind of condition it’s in. Some of the main things you’re going to be looking out for are going to be foundational issues, problems with the roof, plumbing or electrical problems or if there is an HVAC system that will also be inspected as well, and buyers are encouraged to attend the home inspection.

Depending on what comes in with the home inspection, you can either move forward with the contract as it was written, or,  You can renegotiate to have things fixed or the price reduced, or if there’s too many problems, or the seller is unwilling to negotiate, you can simply walk away at this stage, and get your earnest money back.

The next step is the appraisal process, an appraiser is going to come in and decide what the house is actually worth. Again, there’s a few things that can come up in this situation. If the house is valued at more than you paid, congratulations, you got a great deal.

If the house is valued less than what you paid, again, we go back to the negotiation table. We either determine that we’re going to bring more money to closing in order to cover the difference between the appraisal and what we offered on the house, or ask the seller for a price reduction. Or maybe we agree to meet somewhere in the middle. Depending on what happens here, you also have the opportunity to walk away, If you do so choose. 

We’re now in the final stretch. It’s time for the final walkthrough. I always like to do my final walk throughs a few days before closing. The reason is because what we’re doing here is making sure the house is still in the condition it was when we first saw it, and if there were any inspection issues that were supposed to be fixed, we’re making sure that they have been fixed.

If you do it the day of closing, there’s a chance that you might not be able to get those problems remedied, whereas if you do it beforehand, there’s enough time to come to an agreement before going to close.

Now , all that hard work has paid off and you’ve reached the closing table. Beforehand, you’ll receive documents stating exactly how much money you need to bring to closing and you will get wire transfer instructions, and you’ll wire that money to the escrow company.

Then at closing, you’ll sign various documents for the loan, for the house, for title, and once you finish and it is officially recorded, you can get the keys to your new house, congratulations! It’s time to start moving in.

I know the process of buying a home, especially for the first time, can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to work with a great lender and a real estate consultant. They’ll help alleviate the stress throughout the entire process. Once again, my name Ledeana Strand. If you have any questions or if there’s anything I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Even if you’re not in Kitsap County, Wa., feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll see how I can be of service to you. I also did a video on FHA vs. Conventional loans where I discussed the difference between the two, and this goes back to which loan program is going to be the best one for you, and what you will need for the down payment amount. You can access this video by clicking on that link above.

Thank you for watching, and keep a look out for my future real estate video’s with home buying and selling tips. Make it a great home buying and selling day! See you soon!

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