5 Steps to Purchasing Your Forever Home

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Whether you have a family or flying solo, it’s exciting to find your forever home. I remember how excited my husband and I were while we were planning on buying our own home. But believe me when I say that the process is not a walk in the park. From the initial house hunt to finding a mortgage that suits you, it can be a long and stressful path. We started planning and house-hunting six months before getting married, but we only made the decision after more than a year of talking to different brokers, checking out houses, extensive research and cost-benefit analysis. The strenuous process gave us a lot of sleepless nights. So to make the process a little easier, here are the key 5 steps you should take. Don’t worry, you will become a wonderful homemaker in no time!

1. Work Out Your Ideal Budget

Before you start to look for your home, it’s important that you work out how much you realistically can spend. If you need to get a mortgage, you will have to save at least 10% of the house value (although this will vary depending on the house you choose/the agency you work with). Therefore, you must make sure that you have the money to finance it. Alongside your mortgage, you will also have to consider realtor fees and other fees associated with purchasing.

2. Research, Research, Research

As soon as you know how much you can afford, you can start to hunt for your forever home! Whether you look online or in an estate agent’s window, you can start to find properties that match up with your requirements.

When you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to make a note of the various prices in the area that you’re looking to move to. From there, you can look into individual properties in more depth, requesting information from the realtor who’s selling it.

3. Get Pre-approved For a Mortgage

When you have researched house prices in your area, you should start to apply for mortgages. When applying, you will have to provide key financial information to the broker – including your income, savings and any investments you might have. After reviewing this information, the broker will tell you how much you can borrow. From this figure, it will become clear as to how much you can spend on your property.

Another part of this stage is that you can get pre-qualified for credit. By providing the broker with bank account statements, paycheck stubs, etc. they can verify that your credit rating is suitable for a mortgage. Alternatively, if you are struggling to find the money for the deposit and you have a bad credit rating, guarantor services such as Buddy Loans will loan you up to a set amount – which you can then put towards the purchase.

4. Find Your Home and Make an Offer

Once you have the finances sorted and you’ve narrowed down houses, you can arrange viewings. Over the next few weeks/months, you will undoubtedly see a lot of different houses. So it’s important to note what you liked and what you didn’t. If there are two or three houses that stand out, try to arrange a second viewing.

In each house, ask your realtor questions about each house – including if the electricity is working correctly, if the plumbing is up to code, etc. Once you have your dream house, make an offer. This process is always difficult as you might find that:

- By placing an offer that’s below asking price, they reject it.
- You are in a battle with another family for the house.
- The seller is holding out for a better offer than the asking price.

As you will be planning on living in the home for many years, there are also specific features that you will want. Whether it be a large garden, a good amount of storage space or proximity to the city center, you might find that your requirements are higher than when you purchased your first property.

5. Arrange a Home Inspection

Once you make a conditional offer, you can arrange a survey that will pinpoint any issues within the property. A professional will come in and check for any problems with the structure, roof, etc. If there are any issues, you can then use it as a bargaining chip in order to get the asking price down. If there is severe damage, however, it might be better to cut your losses and carry on your property hunt.

Final Thoughts

So there you go! Those are the key 5 steps to purchasing your forever home. Once you have your home in an area you love, you will soon forget the long and stressful process that came with the purchase. A house that you will grow into throughout the years and add your stamp onto, there is nothing like a forever home.

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