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Financial Education


Buying Your Home

Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home

Buying a Home

1. Know your credit:

Check for errors on your credit report and fix them before beginning your house search. This will likely have a major effect on what houses you can afford.

2. Determine your down payment:

A higher down payment, for instance 20 percent, will often lead to a lower interest rate on your mortgage and you may be taken more seriously as a qualified buyer.

3. Obtain pre-approval: Refinance Rates Massachusetts

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps determine your price range, reducing time wasted looking at homes you can't afford. It also may give you better odds on having an offer accepted because it reduces the chances that the offer will fall through due to an inadequate credit score.

4. Get a real estate agent:

While it is possible to purchase a home yourself, most homebuyers are better off relying on the professional experience of a real estate agent who helps homebuyers every day.

5. Choose an area to focus your search:

Consider what is important to you and your family, whether that is a good public school system or lively nearby nightlife.

6. Compare prices on properties in the area:

While no two homes are identical, comparing nearby homes can give you a good sense of a reasonable price for those you're interested in.

7. Find out closing costs ahead of time:

Closing costs can typically range from 1.5 to 4 percent of the purchase price and you should prepare for these before making your offer.

8. Negotiate and settle upon a price for the home:

Consult your real estate agent about what offer is reasonable for the home you're interested in and discuss what concessions you are willing to make to the sellers.

9. Get your prospective home inspected:

All offers should be contingent on a satisfactory home inspection to reveal shortcomings before closing.

10. Close the transaction:

Once you have agreed on an offer it's time to sign all the mortgage documents and other paperwork to assume ownership of your new home. Congratulations on your new home!

Buying Your Home