5 Steps to Buying Your First Home


Deciding where to live can be one of the most potentially stressful processes you can go through. Should you rent? What about trying to buy? More and more, the latter is becoming a viable option for many Americans.

According to data from 2016, it\’s nearly 38% cheaper to buy a home than to rent in the United States\’ top 100 cities. With this type of savings in mind, it\’s no wonder that more Americans are looking toward home ownership. In fact, from 2009 to 2013, real-estate related Google searches increased by 253%.

But getting the white-picket-fence American dream doesn\’t always come easy, despite the overwhelming benefits. The real estate market is ever changing and the process of buying or selling a home can be incredibly stressful. This can be magnified in particular for new home buyers.

First-time buyers looking for houses for sale don\’t often know how to being the process. Are realtors really necessary? Should you try to do it on your own? Thankfully, there\’s help. According to the balance Tips for Buying Your First Home, there are at least five fundamental steps involved in buying your first home.

  1. Find a Realtor

  2. Finding a realtor, also known as an agent, is something that not everyone will recommend, but that will ultimately save you time, effort and stress. A realtor ideally gets to know you and your preferences and then combs through the thousands of listings out there to present to you a curated list of potential homes for you.

    Besides doing the heavy lifting of searching through tons of listings, realtors also provide an insiders perspective. Realtors, for example, often get a tip off about homes before they even go on the market and can thus present to you ones you wouldn\’t otherwise know about. Agents also are able to advise you on pricing. They may, for example, be able to spot a home that is overpriced that you may otherwise have not realized.

    Realtors may also preview homes for you and will always take time to tour you through all prospective homes with professional commentary.

  3. Choose the Right Home for You

  4. The next step in the home buying process is cited by 55% of home buyers as the most difficult part. This is the step when you actually must find the right property. To being, it\’s recommended that buyers, especially first time home buyers, schedule a maximum of seven homes to view. Any more is likely to be overwhelming.

    Besides viewing properties, which is an obvious must, home buyers should also conduct their own research. The internet is a fantastic resource for modern-day buyers. According to the National Association of realtors, buyers spend an average of 6 to 8 weeks searching for their ideal home. Once they\’ve identified a neighborhood, however, they on average view approximately two to three homes before selecting one.

  5. Get a Loan

  6. The next step is often done before searching for a home, but not always. For first time home buyers, it can be wise to first get pre-approved and then search for properties in order to know exactly how much house you\’re able to look for. Sometimes, a seller won\’t even consider a buyer if they aren\’t pre-approved. Popular loan options for first time buyers include an FHA loan, which is appealing due to the fact that it doesn\’t require a large down payment.

    Regardless of your situation, though, the average home sale price in the U.S. as of March 2016 was $186,000, meaning that some type of loan is almost always required.

  7. Negotiate the Offer

  8. This next step in the process may depend largely on the state of the market. Buyers will have to work with sellers to negotiate an offer. This may require going back and forth multiple times in order to satisfy both parties.

  9. Complete a Home Inspection

  10. Lastly, a buyer should always have their prospective new home inspected prior to signing. This last step ensures what the buyer sees is what they get with no surprises. Some states may actually require this before any official home purchase is made.

All in all, the home buying process, especially for first-time buyers can be stressful, but certainly exciting. Be sure to follow these fundamental steps for a successful process.