The Essential Home Buyer's Checklist

The Essential Home Buyer’s Checklist

Buying a home, whether your first or your fifth, is an exciting process. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional side of the process and forget the practical side. To make this as stress-free as possible, try to remain realistic about the home-buying process.

Here’s a checklist of essential steps to help you start your search.

10 Things to Do Before You Look at Homes for Sale

Before you start shopping for real estate, take care of these tasks:

  • Know how much you can afford to spend, considering local real estate taxes and potential insurance costs. This home-buying calculator can help.
  • Check your credit so you are not surprised.
  • Know what your bank will allow you to borrow.
  • Get pre-approved for a home loan.
  • Research the area to determine where you would like to live.

Next, prioritize what you will need in a home. List “must haves” and “would be nice” features. Consider factors like:

  • Location
  • Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Entertaining space
  • Kitchen and bath features
  • Outdoor entertaining space
  • Neighborhood amenities

Since you may not be able to get everything on your list, prioritize the list so you can start shopping confidently, knowing exactly what you need and want.

5 Ways to Successfully Navigate the House Hunting Process

Housing hunting can be fun for the home buyer, or it can be overwhelming. Here’s a checklist to make it easier:

  • Keep your list of priorities with you as you look.
  • Narrow down your options before scheduling showings by shopping online.
  • Consider recommendations from your real estate agent as well.
  • Attend open houses to see homes that may not have been on your radar.
  • Take a clipboard with you to make notes about the property because it’s easy to forget features after seeing multiple houses.

If you keep your goals in mind, you will soon find that you are honing in on one property.

5 Factors to Consider When Making the Offer to Purchase Your New Home

Once you have narrowed your options, you are ready to proceed with the offer and purchase process. Here are some factors to remember:

  • Make a list of contingencies, including the home inspection, that protect you when making an offer.
  • Make the offer with earnest money that shows you are genuinely interested in the property.
  • Schedule the inspection with a certified inspector, which your real estate agent can help you find.
  • Contact your bank and insurance provider to ensure all financial factors are in place.
  • Prepare for the closing day when you purchase your new home!

Once you have reviewed this 21-item home buyer’s checklist – it’s time to act. Print out this page and start to work through the steps from the top. You won’t be able to do it all in one day, so keep it handy (possibly saving this page to your favorites or sharing it with others who may be entering the home-buying process.)

Plan your work, then work your plan. If you do, you will be in your new home fast!