In this How-To series I will break down how to buy a home into a 5 step process. Now we know that the amount of time it takes to buy a home can sometimes be long. The process of buying a home however is quite easy once we break it down. 5 Common Buyer Mistakes

Step 1 of 5: Process To Buy A Home – Pre-Approval & Planning

Pre-Approval: WHAT!! This is the first step?? I thought going out on weekends to open houses is the first step to buying a home? Going to open houses without a Realtor® is actually quite a waste of time because you see many homes that don’t match what you are looking for.

Let’s face it, time is money, especially in the housing market of the Santa Clara County. Prices are always changing and so are interest rates. Should you really be wasting time at open houses when you don’t even know what you are looking for yet?

But you would say, “of course we know what we’re looking for its a 3 bed, 2 bath, …”. Then I would reply, “and how much are you pre-approved for?” See, if you don’t know how large of a loan you can get you really have no idea what you are looking for. Remember that your loan + your downpayment = the maximum price of the home.

Check out these links on the Pre-Approval process:

Lender Checklist: What You Need For a Mortgage
How To Avoid Getting Your Loan Rejected
Is The Interest Rate More Important or the APR

Now after you have gotten pre-approved its time to start planning.

Planning: This starts with getting all the decision makers together, the people that have a say in which house you’re buying. Take a piece of paper out, each and separately write down the top 5 criteria you are each looking for in your new home such as size of the home, schools, proximity to work, etc. Now compare them and agree on everyone’s top 5 items. This process probably just shortened your entire home search process a couple weeks because everyone now has the same focus.

Check out these links on the Planning process:

Neighborhood Is On The Top Of Most Buyers Lists. Is It On Yours
Is This Neighborhood Right For You? 4 Ways To Uncover The Answer
Grab a Neighborhood Market Report

Continue to Step 2: Find a Realtor® & Find a Home