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Preparing for Growth: What You Should Know About Buying a Home

Marriage and a growing family bring about many lifestyle changes. One of the biggest changes may be relocating to a home that will provide sufficient space for your expanding family. There are numerous steps you can take to make the house hunting process and the buying process less stressful.

Pre-Approval

Obtaining pre-approval for a home loan can help you concentrate your home search to houses that you can actually purchase. Looking at homes that are out of your purchasing range is simply a waste of time and possibly an unnecessarily frustrating experience. You will need to provide a lender with various types of financial information such as proof of income, credit history, a list of assets and employment information in order to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage loan. Although not always required before house hunting, pre-approval is a good idea if you’re serious about purchasing a home. Already having the go-ahead from your lender allows you to make an educated offer that you know will be backed up by your home loan.

Beyond the Mortgage Payment

When determining the budget for your new home, there’s more to consider than just the mortgage payment. As a homeowner, you’ll need to set aside some money for an emergency repair fund. Additional expenses such as home maintenance, insurance and taxes also need to be figured into your budget. If this will be your first home, you will need to be prepared for utility expenses that you may not have been responsible for as a renter. Doing some research specific to the area you’ll be moving to will help you get a good idea of what price point you should be shooting for when house hunting.

House Hunting

To simplify and expedite your home search you can visit real estate websites that provide an extensive listing of the homes available in the area you hope to move to. You can type in information such as the number of bedrooms you desire and search among the houses in your financial comfort zone. Once you have some homes in mind, you can contact a realtor to set up some showings.

However, this DIY approach may not work for some. If you have a specific time frame to keep in mind or don’t know a lot of specifics about what you’re looking for, contacting an agent about real estate for sale in the area you’re looking to move to is probably the better option. Local agents will be able to give you a more realistic idea about pricing and availability in that area. They will also know more properties, even those not listed online, that fit your requirements.

Closing Process

Most home buyers are not familiar with the closing process. Real estate professionals can advise you as to what to expect at a closing. Be sure to check the list of items you’ll need to have with you at the closing. Not having all of the paperwork you need can delay the closing and add to the stress of the process. If you’re not sure about part of the closing process, ask questions and be honest with your support team.

When you’re purchasing a home for your growing family, be sure to be open and honest with professionals you choose to work with and trust. A huge financial undertaking like buying a home should not be taken lightly. Make sure you understand the process from start to finish and beyond.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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