Are you in the market to buy a home but have no idea about the process, what to expect, or the costs involved? Here is a simple breakdown for you.
Step 1. Get Pre-approved. This is a simple conversation with a local lender or bank. They will take some of your basic information, run your credit, and within a day they will be able to tell you what you can comfortably afford.
Step 2. Call a Fort Wayne Realtor®. You need somebody on your side to help you through the complicated process of buying a home. Of course we would love for you to call us if you are buying a home in Fort Wayne!
Sometimes we have buyer consultations with our first time home buyers, but they aren't necessary for everybody.
Step 3. Look at homes! This is normally the fun part. After we have found homes online that look good, we will go out and see them. If we have a list of 10 or more homes, we recommend picking the top 5 and viewing those. If none of those are it, we go to the next 5, etc.
* A few tips for showings. If you have young kids and we are looking at numerous homes, it might be best for you to get a sitter. Young kids (no matter how well behaved) get bored quickly and can be a distraction to you when you need to be paying attention to the home.
* If you are a young buyer and need your parent's approval, let's narrow it down to 1 or 2 before we bring them along. It's much easier that way.
Step 4. Make the offer! Once we find the perfect home, either Amanda or I will run comparables and share our opinion on the price of the home and what to offer. In the Fort Wayne real estate market, homes are selling for 95% + of list price on average. Every situation is different, which is another reason why you need a Fort Wayne Realtor® on your side. Once we have reached an agreement on the home, we move to step 5.
Step 5. Physically meet with the lender. This needs to be done ASAP after the offer is accepted. This is where you will officially apply for a home loan.
Step 6. Home Inspection. We highly recommend that every buyer gets a home inspection by a licensed home inspector. It's easy to see cracks in windows, water stains, or a cracked foundation, but a home inspector will test all the sytems in the home, including many things that we can't see. On average, a home inspection costs $250-$350, depending on the property. This is normally the buyer's expense and payable at the time of inspection. One of us will be there at the home inspection as well.
Step 7. Title work and Appraisal. We will order title work through a local title company. We do this to ensure that the home has no liens on it and that ownership is transferrable. The lender will order the appraisal. The appraisal is necessary to ensure that the home is worth the purchase price and it protects the lender.
Step 8. Pre-closing activities. A handful of days before closing you will need to call all utilities on the new home and have them transferred to your name on the day of closing or day of possession. We will send you a list of who to call and their contact information. A day or two before closing we will do a final walk through of the home to confirm that it is in good condition and nothing has changed. A day or two before closing your lender will call you and go over the HUD (Settlement Statement) and let you know exactly how much money you need to bring to closing for your down payment, etc.
Normally, it takes abour 30 days to close on a home once the offer is accepted. Each situation is different.
Step 9. CLOSING! Closing in our area normally takes between 30-45 minutes. Both buyer and seller are there along with their Realtors®, along with the lender and closer. As a buyer, be ready to sign a giant stack of paperwork! Oh, and don't forget your driver's license.
Step 10. Double check on exemptions. The title company will file your homestead and mortgage tax exemptions, but we always remind our buyers to call down to the Allen County Assessor's office about 30 days after closing to make sure they have been filed. If for some reason they haven't, and you miss it, your annual property taxes will almost triple. That's a lot of money.
So there you have it. A step by step breakdown of the home buying process. We hope you enjoyed reading it. If you or anybody you know is in the market to buy a home in the Fort Wayne area, please consider giving us a call at 260.704.0843 (Amanda) or 260.704.0842 (Jared). Thanks for reading!