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Homebuyer checklist


Your House Buying Checklist

One of the most important things you can do is to make a checklist as you search for, find and buy a home. By keeping on top of your game-plan at all times you will greatly increase your chances of success. To save time, bookmark this page and refer to the following checklist frequently. Follow the links, print out this checklist and let it increase your house buying effectiveness. The market for buying a home has changed immeasurably in the last couple of years so the preparation that you do for your house purchase is essential.

House Buying Checklist

Be an informed buyer. There are over 200 pages of information here as well as links to much more information. Numerous guides are available on specific subjects. Our Bookstore has additional recommended reading. Gather as much information as you can. Want to keep yourself up-to-date on the Real Estate market and the latest in news related to home buying? Subscrbe to our free newsletter and visit the What’s New page on this web site.

Buying your first home? See the page devoted to first time home buying.

Familiarize yourself with the mortgage process. Have mortgage questions? Need a few mortgage tips? See the sections devoted to those subjects.

Get Pre-Approved before you look for a home and shop with the power of a cash buyer. Getting pre-approved helps to smooth the entire home buying process.

Get your financial picture in focus as soon as possible. Since it is an important component, be aware of your credit situation.  You can get a free copy of your credit score online and having your credit picture in hand makes it much easier to decide which way to proceed. 

The best time to work on your budget is before you move. Want to maximize your financial picture? See the section devoted to budget hints.

Wondering about how much time is needed to buy a home? See the sample homebuying timeline.

Find an Agent that you trust. It is important to do this before you go rushing off looking for homes or you may end up with no representation. See the Agency and Buyer Agent pages for important discussions regarding “who represents who.” See the section on buying on your own for hints and tips.

Determine your housing needs and wants to determine what types of houses you should be considering.

Familiarize yourself with the various types of housing available: Single familytownhouse, and condo.

If you are planning on buying or building a new home, see our section devoted to building a house including house building tipsresources and how to find a contractor.

Have general questions about buying a home? See the questions homebuyers ask page.

Still have a question about a Real Estate term or its definition? See our Real Estate Glossary. A question on a mortgage term? See the Mortgage Glossary.

House Hunting Time! First, see the article devoted to finding the right home. Then, make a scorecard for each house to help you keep track of the properties you’ve seen.

Familiarize yourself with how to set a value on a house. This can save you a great deal of time and helps to avoid disappointment.

When you find an acceptable house, write an offer. Familiarize yourself with how offers become contracts. Need examples of offers and contracts available for your state? See FIndLegalForms.com

Negotiate your best deal using the information you have acquired.

If you haven’t already done so, make a mortgage loan request.

Arrange for home inspection. Protect yourself and do not skip this step! All of the work that you have done up to this point may be wasted if you do not thoroughly investigate the home.

Learn about home warranties and what they cover.

Compare and secure homeowners insurance. Since homeowners insurance is a long term expense, getting the best deal here brings savings  that continue.

Arrange for closing agent or attorney. Make all final preparations for closing.

Make moving plans. If you plan to use a moving company, make comparisons and reserve time now.

Secure final loan approval and commitment from the lending institution. If you have done your “up-front” work, this should be one of your easiest steps.

Do a final walk through of the house.

Final closing and settlement.

Move to your new home and begin enjoying it–you deserve it!

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Home Buying for Dummies (you won’t be after reading this book!)

10 Steps to Home Ownership Simple, concise step-by-step guide