Five Basic Steps To Making A House Your Home

Five Basic Steps To Making A House Your Home

The Denver real estate market is hot but owning a home remains a key element of the American Dream. In fact, a recent survey by TD Bank revealed that 84 percent of young renters (ages 18 to 34) intend to buy a home in the future. While it is exciting, home buying can be overwhelming and complicated if you don't have a general knowledge of the process.  

Equipping yourself with the right tools will allow you to navigate the complexities of the home-buying process in Denver and around the country. Here are five helpful steps to follow on your way to homeownership.

 Step 1: Learn the home-buying ABCs: Build your homeownership knowledge by finding the right Realtor.  The right Realtor will help navigate you through the buying process by decoding the language of real estate.  Staying well-informed will help you feel confident and in control of this major financial decision.  Selecting a Realtor - before you start looking, will help make finding your perfect home much less time-consuming. In addition to being able to answer any questions that come up during the process, a Realtor will work on your behalf to pre-screen houses and guide you through negotiations. 

Step 2: Get out your calculator: Owning a home requires a large investment of time, energy and money, so make sure you are careful when making the decision to buy. If you're like 43 percent of survey respondents, staying within budget is the top consideration. It is important to determine how much you can afford - you don't want to fall in love with a house out of your reach. When applying for a mortgage, the bank will assess your debt to income ratio. By looking at your income and current monthly debts, you can determine your ideal monthly payment. From there, you'll be able to narrow the focus of your house search to homes in your price range. Be sure to include down payments and other upfront costs in your calculations. 

 Step 3: Shop wisely: Condo? Single-family home? A fixer-upper or new construction? Once you know how much you can afford, determining your housing needs.  Do you enjoy yard work? Are you okay with shoveling the sidewalk after a heavy snow in Denver? Before you start shopping for a home it is important to consider the type of lifestyle would like in your new home.  If yard work and shoveling is not your style, then low maintenance living may be a better option.  

Step 4: Pick your perfect match: According to the survey, acquiring a mortgage and making a down payment is the most preferred method of payment for those who intend to own a home. With the variety of mortgage products that exists today, it's essential you choose the right one for your needs. How long do you plan on living in this house? Do you plan on making improvements to the home? Answering these types of questions will help you hone in on your financial strategy. Finding the right mortgage is about more than a rate and terms - it's about finding the right financial partner. Don't get led down the wrong path by choosing a bank that doesn't provide flexible options. Look for a bank that offers a hassle-free mortgage guarantee to ensure your first home purchase is as smooth and worry-free as possible.

 
Step 5: Sign on the dotted line: Once your home has been inspected, your contingencies have been met and your mortgage has been approved, it's time to close the deal. In most cases, a closing officer and your attorney will be present during closing. As the buyer, you should make sure to bring a binder for homeowner's insurance (document proving you have adequate homeowner's insurance), a paid receipt for the first year's premium and a certified or cashier's check for your down payment and closing costs. Before the closing begins, review your mortgage, mortgage note and settlement statement documents to ensure there are no errors or red flags. Remember to ask questions during the closing, as the closing officer is there to help. 

 
After you've signed all documents and paid your closing costs and down payment, the closing is finished. Congratulations and enjoy your new home.  

Karen Venier is a Broker Associate at Keller Williams. She is a part of Carr Peck Group which has been recognized locally and nationally as in expert in real estate.  Locally they are 6th in Denver Metro home sales out of 5,000 agents and have been recognized by the Wall Street Journal and Real Trends as one of the top selling agents in America.  For more information feel free to contact her  or call 303-908-9584.  
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Dated: March 19th 2014
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