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Tips for the First-Time Home Buyer Part 2 of 2

Mar 23, 2015

Purchasing a home can be a daunting task for many, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. To help alleviate some of the stress and confusion, PFCU has pulled together ten recommended steps for making the home buying process go smoother. If you haven’t already, check out our most recent blog post for steps 1-5 and then continue reading below. 

Step 6: Make an offer

Maybe the first home you toured was the perfect fit, or maybe you have seen what feels like every available home on the market. Either way, once you have picked your dream home, it’s time to make an offer. When you and the seller come to an agreement, the house will go into escrow. This means the payment will go into a third party account to prove the buyer has the funds available, but does not require them to pay the seller until all sale conditions are met, such as inspections and appraisals.

Step 7: Schedule an Inspection

Your next step is to set up an appointment for a home inspection. This is critical for ensuring the home is safe and also makes it easier for you, the buyer, to uncover any areas that will require renovating before the sale goes through. There are contingencies in place to protect the buyer pending any negative results from the inspection so that an offer can be altered if necessary.

Step 8: Get Insurance

No sensible car owner would drive without insurance, and nor should a homeowner purchase a house without also getting home insurance. Real estate insurance protects owners in the event of a catastrophe. If something were to go wrong, it’s a lot less expensive to deal with under an insurance policy than with no insurance at all. Make the investment - it may end up being the bargain of a lifetime.

Step 9: Double check the value of the home with an appraisal

As one of the final steps in the homebuying process, you’ll want to have a home appraisal done. This step ensures that you are paying a fair price on the home. Appraisers produce an estimate of a home’s value based on a number of factors, including neighborhood boundaries, square footage, missing items, comparable properties, upgrades and improvements.

Step 10: Close the sale at settlement

Finally, it is time to coordinate the necessary paperwork and close the sale. The closing or “settlement” signifies the official transference of property from seller to buyer. Make sure to hold any final meetings with mortgage bankers or your realtor, sign all required paperwork and get ready to use those muscles - it’s moving time!

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