You’ve made the serious commitment to move forward and start the process of buying a house so what’s next? Here are the 7 steps of buying a house.

1. Do Your Research

Make sure to research the areas or parts of town you’re interested in moving to. Look up crime rates and culture and figure out which neighborhoods best suit you. If you have kids or plan on having kids in the time you live there, look up school districts. Its important to know what kind of records the schools have that your children might be attending.

2. Get Your Finances In order (What Can You Afford?)Screen-Shot-2014-09-19-at-12.49.21-PM-300x218

Sit down and figure out what you can truly afford. Maybe set up a timeline of when you would like to be moved out. Get your finances in order; perhaps you have a student loan or a credit card debt that you could try to pay off before adding a mortgage to your expenses. Check your credit and see what kind of loans you’d be able to even get. Adding a mortgage shouldn’t be something that is going to strain your budget. In one of our past blog posts (Budgeting According To Your Income) we mentioned how its recommended that about 22% of a household’s monthly take-home income should go to paying a mortgage every month. It’s all about being realistic and living somewhere you can afford.

3. Contact A Local Realtor

It’s important to get help and an opinion from a real estate professional. If you already have specific areas of town in mind, try to find a realtor that specializes in those areas that way they can have information regarding the areas that you perhaps didn’t find while doing your own research.

4. Figure Out Your Wants and Needs

Decide what you want in the house so your realtor knows exactly what to look for. Don’t waste your time or your realtor’s time looking at houses that aren’t going to have what you want in a house. Let him or her know what the deal breakers such as number of bedrooms and bathroom, perhaps a pool or a fireplace and most importantly price. Drive around the neighborhood, see how long your commute would be, how far away is the nearest grocery store, etc. You want your new house and neighborhood to meet your needs and wants!

5. Be Flexible With Your Schedule When Seeing A House

Be open with your schedule. Make appointments to see a house a priority. If you have a regular job during the week, take your lunch hour to see a house, use your weekends to see houses. In today’s market, good properties go fast so if you find something, make an offer!

6. Make An Offer

So you’ve found a house that you like, go for it! Make an offer! Take your realtors advice and let him or her negotiate. That’s the realtor’s job! You just make the offer and they will take care of the rest. To put in bluntly, stay in your lane. If your realtor is someone you trust, you should be fine.

7. Close!

If your offer is accepted and all the process goes smoothly, you close! The house is yours!