Buying a house is a big commitment much like choosing the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. As newlyweds, you might soon be looking to purchase and build a home together, leading you to the doorstep of going through the first-time home buying experience. In a market like we are in right now, this journey can be uncertain and stressful, so I’m here to help explain the roadmap that lies ahead of you. You deserve to start your beautiful life together as stress-free as possible, so let’s dive into The Newlywed Home Buying Guide for information and guidance you need from a professional on the inside!
SHOW ME THE MONEY
(Loan Pre-approval or Proof of Funds)
First things first, before anyone wants to show you homes or give you a loan for a home you’ve got to prove that you are ready financially. To a bank or mortgage lender this means you need a good debt to income ratio, a decent credit score, and enough money for a down payment. If you have the money you need to purchase a home, then your bank can provide you a proof of funds letter to get you fast-tracked to your home search. If you don’t happen to be sitting on a lump sum of cash like the rest of us, then you’ll need to secure a loan for the purchase. A mortgage lender is a key contact that will help you understand the different loan options available to you and assist you in making a loan selection.
LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT ONE
Looking for the perfect home is much like looking for the right partner in life. You need to consider what is most important to you. Is it location? Number of bedrooms and bathrooms? School district? It’s time to make a list. Write down what is most important to the two of you and then also write down what flaws you may be willing to live with and what flaws are absolute deal breakers. Ultimately, the home needs to make you happy but at the same time no home is perfect. Don’t rush this integral step of The Newlywed Home Buying Guide.
ASKING FOR A DATE
(Making an Offer)
When you find a home that you can picture your life within, the next step is to make an offer. This can be nerve-wracking, it’s kind of like asking someone out for the first time. They might say yes and… they might not. Your realtor will help you create the offer and provide advice on how you can best position yourself to the sellers while also beating out any competition you may have for the home. Once your offer is in, the sellers can either reject the offer or send a counter offer back to you for consideration. Of course, hope for the best, but if your offer is not accepted know that there are a lot of other homes out there that will likely make you just as happy and move on in your search.
GETTING THE DATE
(An Accepted Offer)
This is certainly reason to celebrate, but don’t empty the champagne bottle just yet. There are still a lot of pieces that need to fall into play before you get the keys. But now that you’ve got an accepted offer, you can begin getting to know one another (the house that is). Think about what updates will need done and start imagining your lives inside the home.
EXPLORING ONE ANOTHER
Before you fall head over heels in love, you need to learn as much as you can about the home. This is when you bring in your best friend to make sure they approve. They always dig up the best dirt, pinpoint the little things you didn’t even notice, and are also blunt and honest with you about their opinion. This person in The Newlywed Home Buying Guide is your inspector! Their job is to tell you anything and everything that is “wrong” with the home. This is when you really learn what imperfections your home has and it’s your time to decide if you can live with the flaws, work on the flaws, or decide what needs to be improved upon before taking the “relationship” any further.
YOUR FIRST ARGUMENT
You’ve decided what flaws you can and can’t live with and now you have to tell them the parts you don’t love. This is your chance to communicate what you want the seller to work on or fix prior to closing. Or maybe you want to negotiate a lower price because there is more work to be done than expected. This is also the part where you can back out if you decide there’s just too much baggage and you’d be better off looking for a new home.
After negotiations there is a bit of a waiting game. It might seem like nothing is going on, but I assure you there is lots of work happening behind the scenes. Your mortgage lender and title company are working hard to finalize all the paperwork for your big day. Take this time to finish packing, set up your utilities, and get homeowners insurance, but also take this time to just relax and celebrate the fact that you are about to be homeowners!
Now that you’ve worked out all your issues with each other, survived your first argument, had lots of time to get to know one another, and have decided you’re ready to commit to the next step in the buying process, it is time for your final walk-through. This step typically happens about a week before closing or sometimes the day before. At the final walk-through you get to see the home one last time before becoming the owners and it’s your chance to make sure all improvements that needed worked on have been completed and that the home is ready for you.
Closing day is like wedding day, it’s the final commitment! You sign all the paperwork that makes the home yours. If your new to buying a home like you’re new to marriage you should know that after you find the right home and get an accepted offer it can take 30-45 days before you get to this point, so plan accordingly! You’ve reached the peak of The Newlywed Home Buying Guide! It’s all downhill from here.
HAPPY EVER AFTER
(Move In Day)
Congratulations, you’ve bought a house! Now you can move all your things in and start living your life together. You’ll fall more in love with your home every day as it becomes the backdrop to all of your fondest memories. And hopefully you live happily ever after, but we all know home ownership can get a little rocky sometimes, so keep your agent’s name close in case you are in need of a referral to a plumber, electrician, painter, etc. Good agents become dedicated to your family for life and are always a connection you can count on.