Find Out How Much Home You Can Afford
Want to quickly find out how much home buying power you currently have? When you download Quo and answer a few questions about your finances and future home wants, you'll instantly be told how much home you can afford. If you want to increase that number, no worries! Quo helps to get home and mortgage-ready with insights and personalized recommendations.
Now that you've entered all your information into Quo, worked hard to get your finances on track, and got the news that you’re pre-qualified for homes up to a certain amount. Congrats! Now it’s time to get pre-approved.
Once you meet (or even talk on the phone) with a mortgage broker (like ours at QuoHome), they will be able to get you pre-approved. Pre-approval is a strong indicator that you can afford houses within a specific range. Your broker will write you a letter to hand to your real estate agent or the owners of the home you'd like to buy that says, "We can afford this amount, and a lender has already committed to giving us a loan." Teamwork!
You should be confident when touring homes once you have that pre-approval letter because you already know you can afford the house while walking through and can spend more time on the fun stuff, like wondering how you'll arrange your furniture when you move in.
Find a Real Estate Agent
According to Realtor.com, 52% of people find their realtor through a friend, 10% find them online, and 38% get in contact through other methods. Real estate agents are familiar with the current housing market within your area and have experience getting buyers into their dream homes. Your realtor will be your advocate during your journey to get you in the house that is the best fit for you based on your finances and personal preferences. They also will help you write an offer, get it accepted, and get you into hard-to-find deals that may not be listed on sites like Zillow.
Look At Homes
The fun part. You would think that watching hours and hours of HGTV would prepare you for the home search process, but there’s a bit more to it. As you see more and more homes, whether online or in-person, you will quickly get a better idea of what is most important to you, what your preferences are, and what details don't make a big difference in your eyes. Maybe you have to have a double garage. Or you thought you wanted a guest room but found you would rather have a bigger outdoor space. Fantastic! That will help you narrow your search. Now you know to focus on some homes with a double garage, but you could buy a house with one less bedroom if it meant you would have a bigger yard.
Make An Offer
You love the house and now it's time to make an offer. This is where that pre-approval comes in handy, especially in today's competitive real estate market, where homes often go into multiple-offer situations. A strong pre-approval will go a long way in helping you win the house.
An insider tip: To set yourself apart from other applicants, you can also write a letter to the homeowner. If you do so, make it brief, but tell them why you love the home and why it would be a perfect fit for you and your family. Buying a home is an emotional process, but many times so is letting go of one. It's nice to know your home will go to someone who loves it.
Get An Inspection and Appraisal
Don't worry — these parts aren't entirely your responsibility. You can trust your mortgage broker and real estate agent to push these steps along. Generally, you would build out a list of repairs or alterations you would like to be made to the property before the final walkthrough. This list is then negotiated between the buyer and seller, usually with the help of their real estate agents.
A renegotiation could happen for a few reasons. The most common one is that some negative element was discovered during the inspection, like a leak in the roof, and the sellers of the home decided not to fix it themselves. If that was the case, you might renegotiate to get the home price lowered so that you can pay for a roofing contractor to come and fix the issue.
This part is not required, and your real estate agent will help counsel you through this process, so there's no need to stress over it! You've already come so far, and the finish line is in sight! If something does come up during the inspection, don't worry, that's what inspections are for! Make sure you are ready to use it in the renegotiation.
Go to Closing
You did it! Pat yourself on the back and then go to dinner and get a friend to pat you on the back too. The home buying process is no joke. Closing is where you will feel like Beyonce because you're signing so much stuff. It is where the final documentation is signed (with the Title Company — they make sure the ownership of the home and all required documents are properly transferred to you).
Your lender will let you know how much, if any, cash you need to bring to the closing. This does not mean you have to bring dollar bills with you, but it is typically done with a check, cashier's check, or most often a wire transfer between bank accounts.
After this, you are done! You did it! You have crossed a major milestone and purchased your first home! Congratulations! We wish you all the best at moving in all your furniture, and unfortunately, we aren't available to help out no matter how much pizza you promise. Have fun!