The First Steps of the Homebuying Process

A home is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. It can also be one of the most rewarding if you make sure you’re buying the best home for your family. Take some time to answer these questions and begin the process on a firm foundation.

couple sitting at counter looking at papers

How Will You Budget to Buy a Home?

While it’s more fun to think about the search for your new home, financial forethought is crucial to any successful Homebuyer’s journey. Start by saving money for a down payment and work to improve your credit score, if needed. These two factors will increase the number and quality of mortgage options available to you when you’re ready to sign the paperwork. Now is also a great time to start researching the different types of home loans, assessing your expense-to-income ratio, and determining the price range you can afford.

Where do You Want to Live?

Your home’s location plays a vital role in your day-to-day life. Consider the possible commute, schools, property tax rates and proximity to grocery stores and other places you’ll frequently visit when choosing where to start your search.

The Anne Family Room in Phoenix, AZ

What do You Want in Your Home?

There are a lot of details that can influence your homebuying decision and make a huge difference in how a home lives up to your expectations. A good method for maintaining perspective while touring homes is to have a checklist of features you want in your home. Separate your list into “absolutely required” items and “nice to have” items. You can reprioritize the features as you tour homes and explore the variety of lifestyle options available. Comparing your checklist as you go can help you make the best choice.

When Will You Move out of This Home?

It might seem like jumping too far ahead, but thinking about how long you plan to live in a home should be part of your selection process. Your needs in a home today may or may not be the same as what you need in the future. You may find that the number of bedrooms, the size of the yard, or even where you want to live may change over the years. Keep the future in mind when making decisions about the location, features and financial aspects of your home search. Remember that you will build more equity the longer you live in your home.

Answering these questions will get you closer to your goal of living in the right home for you. Start saving for your down payment and doing your homework to prepare for this investment.