Home buying 101

Your step-by-step guide for every stage of home buying. 🏡

1. Getting ready to buy a home

  • Think about why you want to be a homeowner. With homeownership comes great responsibilities, but also the ability to create your own lifestyle!

  • The home buying process and timeline will vary, so be prepared for the journey.

  • Understand all the investments and costs upfront to buying and owning a home.

 

2. Your needs and wants

  • Create a 'Needs & Wants' checklist so you buy the right home for you.

  • Use online tools to research homes and locations to save time and headaches. 

  • Get to know your surroundings by getting to know the neighborhood.

 

3. Getting a pre-approval

  • A pre-approval will help you understand what a bank may lend you, and what you can afford to buy.

  • You will need a pre-approval or proof of funds document to make an offer.

  • You only need one active pre-approval to make offers. 

  • You can shop around for mortgage rates to get the lowest rate after you have an accepted offer. You don't have to use the same lender you used to get a pre-approval.

  • Ask your lender about different mortgage products to fit your needs.

 

4. Searching for your home online

  • Use online tools like Zillow or Nuhom to look at listings, and setup property alerts.

  • Google Maps and Street View can help you understand the neighborhood and the home surroundings. 

  • Put your 'Needs and Wants' checklist to work as you search homes online.

  • Find  a local agent or use Nuhom to help you decipher a listing. They can also give you access to the home when an open house may not be available to you.

 

5. Going on home tours

  • You can go to an Open House (if one is available) or a schedule a Private Home Tour.

  • You typically have ~30 mins to tour a home, so it's important to spend your time wisely by focusing on the parts of the home that matter most to you.

  • Focus on the spaces that you use most, for example: kitchen, bathrooms, basement, and look for areas that need attention.

  • As you walk through the home, make sure it checks  your 'Needs and Wants'.

  • Take pictures and videos to reference later!

 

6. Making an offer

  • Make sure you have your pre-approval letter or proof of funds document in hand.

  • Do a pricing analysis so you know what price to offer. We will give you our logic and reasoning for recommended pricing and terms.

  • Strategize with your agent on the type of conditions you want to make in your offer (e.g. Home Inspection, Financing)

  • Understand what a seller may be looking for so you are in the know. 

  • Use Nuhom's guided step-by-step tool to make an offer online.

 

7. Accepted offer
& further due diligence

  • First off, congratulations! 

  • Drop off your offer deposit.

  • Complete your home inspection if it was part of your offer. 

  • Look at city records to ensure there are no open permits or violations on the property. 

  • Shop around for a lender which best fits your needs. 

  • Identify your real estate attorney to help you draft your purchase & sales agreement.

 

8. Signing your P&S

  • The Purchase and Sales Agreement (P&S) is a binding contract that is negotiated between the buyer and seller's attorney. 

  • The P&S includes the who, what, when, and where you are buying. 

  • The P&S typically includes a 5% of the home purchase price deposit that will be needed at the time of signing.

 

9. Securing your mortgage

  • You will have to submit additional documents to prove your income and debt.

  • You will be securing the type of mortgage and mortgage rate at this stage.

  • Your lender will also do an appraisal to value the home, which will determine how much they may lend you. If you have an 'appraisal contingency', and the appraisal comes in lower than the offer price, you may re-negotiate with the seller (if they are willing) or determine other methods to cover the difference so you can buy the home.

 

10. Closing

  • This is an exciting moment and you will soon own your home!

  • A closing statement will be provided to you by your lender, which shows you all the debits, credits, and any money that is due by you and the other parties involved. Think of this as an itemized receipt for purchasing your home. This document will also outline any money due that you must bring to closing.

  • Setup any utilities to start from the the day you close on the home.  

  • Coordinate a final walk-through with your agent. This typically happens right before your closing. This walk-through is to make sure the home will be delivered as you expect.

  • Closing Day - You will meet with your attorney. Your attorney will go through all the documents you will be signing.

  • After closing - You will need to wait for the deed to be recorded. Your attorney and agent will notify you when this happens. Once this happens, you will receive the keys, and the home is yours - Welcome home!