Steps to Buying a Home
- Decide What You Want
The first step to take when buying your first home is to decide what you want. The best way to do this is to create a prioritized list of features and amenities that are important to you. This list should serve as your guide to searching for a new home, keeping in mind that the home you eventually purchase might not include every feature on your list. Three important factors to consider in your search are location, personal tastes, and budget. An ERA real estate professional can provide a wealth of information on community characteristics including schools, shopping, dining and other neighborhood features that will play an important part in your final decision.
- Determine What You Can Afford
Once you have made your prioritized list, it's time to decide how much house you can afford. There are many things that factor into what you can afford: income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and interest rate. ERA Real Estate offers many different calculators to help you determine what price range will fit comfortably within your budget.
- Apply for a Mortgage
There are literally dozens of mortgage programs available to homebuyers, and it can seem like a daunting task to know which program will give you the most for your money. With expert experience, a wealth of options, and a four-step mortgage process – contacting an ERA Mortgage consultant is the easiest way to get a pre-approved home loan and learn about the many different mortgage options available to you.
- Shop for a Home
Now that you have an idea of the area you would like to live in and how much you can afford, you can start your search for your new home. To help you simplify the process as much as possible, you can register with MyERAHellasCyprus.com, and the system will automatically notify you when new listings are available that match your search criteria.
Once you see a few homes that you like, you should begin to visit homes in person. Your ERA sales associate can arrange visits for you and you can attend open houses in your target area and price range.
- Make an Offer
After you have found a home you like, you will need to make an offer. In most cases, it is beneficial to have a real estate professional negotiate the offer on your behalf. An important thing to remember is that if you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, be sure not to divulge any information about your move, current housing status, financial status or positive or negative feelings about the property. All of these factors will play an important role in future negotiations on the purchasing price.
- Inspection and Insurance
Once your offer is accepted, you will need to set up, coordinate and interpret various inspections on the property. These can include insect, radon, building quality, oil tank, title, etc. It is important not to get discouraged if problems are discovered during this period. Your ERA sales agent is always there for you to make this process as easy and smooth as possible. Many homeowners find that consulting a real estate attorney can also help with interpreting and understanding the language involved in the contracts and paperwork that need to be completed.
In addition to the previously mentioned inspections, you will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize your mortgage agreement.
- The Final Closing
Before you arrive at the final closing, you should make sure that all the necessary paperwork and deposits have been completed and forwarded to the appropriate parties. Missing or incomplete information can delay the closing, so it is imperative that everything is done prior to your closing date.
Once all the paperwork is completed and signed, you own the house.
For detailed information about the home buying process, click here to link online to the ERA ANSWERS book, a compilation of the most frequently asked questions in the real estate process. You can also visit your local ERA office to get a printed copy of this important reference guide.