Homebuyers Checklist

Buying a new house is an exciting time…but it can also be intimidating or unsettling if you are not prepared or are new to the process.

How can you be prepared, you ask?  Well, for starters, check out this Homebuyers Checklist we have prepared for you!

If you have other questions or would like a professional consultation on how to prepare to buy a home, let us know!

1. Find a reliable, professional, educated Realtor.

We may be biased….but we know a really good team you should check out!  Call Jim Neal today to talk over what you are looking for in a new home.  Call or Text – 239-233-4060

2. Do your Research on the Different Home Loans out there and what out-of-pocket Cash is required as a home buyer.

  • Consider the Length of your Home Loan
    • 15 year vs 30 year mortgage
  • Consider Additional Expenses of Buying a Home
    • Inspection Costs
    • Appraisal Costs
    • Closing Costs
  • Consider Additional Expenses of Being a Homeowner
    • Property Taxes
    • HOA dues
    • Home Repairs
    • Special Assessments

3. Start Gathering Your Paperwork

  • Federal Income Tax Records for the past couple of years
  • Recent Paycheck Stubs
  • Credit Card & Student Loan Information

4. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

  • For starters, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a new home
  • Your offer on a home is stronger if presented alongside a current pre-approval.

5. Narrow down the Location you would like to live.

  • Research Locations.  You can update a home, but you can not change it’s location.
  • Are you trying to be close to work?
  • Is there a certain school you would like your children to go to?
  • Are you looking for a gated community?
  • Are you looking for a Golf Community?

6. Create a list of features your new Home MUST have.

  • Keep in mind, this is different than what you WANT your home to have.
  • Having a list of MUST HAVES and a separate lists of WANTS will help you narrow down your choices when starting to preview homes.
  • Examples include:  Big Back Yard, Large Closets, Kitchen Pantry, Tile Floors, etc.

7. Consider the time it takes to find the right home

  • FindingTHE right home may happen on Day 1 or Day 20.  Consider the time to search for homes.
  • Closing on a financed home normally takes between 4-8 weeks, sometimes longer if you require special financing or are dealing with a short sale.
  • Closing on a New Construction home could take even longer.
  • You may want to start looking months before you think you do.

8. As you are previewing homes, use a scorecard to compare homes.

  • A Scorecard is a great tool when it comes time for comparisons (and for remembering which homes had which features).

9. Don’t Forget about New Construction

  • The Jim Neal Realty Group knows about all the new construction options in the area.
  • New Construction can be a great option, especially since you can be involved in the customization of the home from the beginning.

10. Don’t apply for new credit/buy big items on credit during the home buying process

  • Big purchases can affect your credit score or liquid cash on hand, which can affect your ability to get a mortgage.
  • No major purchases until after closing!
    • This includes cars and new furniture
  • Do not open new credit accounts until after closing
  • Do not change jobs or banks until after closing

11. Enjoy the Process!

Yes, buying a new home can be stressful, but those who find a good Realtor and who are prepared, can also find the process rewarding.  You’re getting a new house out of the process…and that’s exciting!

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