Buying a house in Pierce County can be stressful, competitive, and confusing, especially if you are a first time home buyer. These 7 steps can make buying a house in Pierce County manageable and enjoyable.

Step 1: Create a Budget

Sit down with your spouse and create a budget for your new home. Doing so will keep you in line if you are on the fence about a house further down the home buying road. Creating a budget can also help narrow down what houses and what areas are optimal for your family. If you are looking at putting down 20% on a home, what does that look like for your savings and monthly expenses? Starting the home buying process with a budget will keep you home buying process smooth and organized.

Step 2: Get Pre-Approved

The best way to see how much you can afford to spend on a home is to get pre-approved through a mortgage lender. To get pre-approved you’ll need to provide your some financial documents such as income, W2 statements, tax returns, paychecks, and bank account statements. Your lender will review this information and tell you about your approved loan amount. Doing this will speed the home buying process up as well as narrow down the houses to look at.

Step 3: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

It’s important to find the right agent for you when you start buying a home in Pierce County. The best way to get in touch with a good realtor is to ask your friends and family if they’ve had luck with a particular agent. This agent should be in your corner at all times during the home buying process and have you best interest in mind.

Step 4: Shop For Your Home and Make an Offer

This is the fun step! Open up Redfin and Zillow and see what houses are on the market in the area of Pierce County you’re looking to live in. Once you find a few houses that interest you, visit the open houses on the weekends and put in an offer on the ones you’re serious about. You will see a lot of houses so a good way to remember them is to take photos and videos.

Step 5: Get a Home Inspection

Getting a home inspection is always a good idea when buying a house in Pierce County. It protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. For example, if the inspection reveals that there is a problem with the furnace, you can bring it up to the seller and negotiate that into the contract. Home inspections can save you thousands of dollars and give you peace of mind.

Step 6: Agree on a Loan

Now that you know what house you want to buy and the amount, it’s time to choose your loan type. A typical conventional loan requires 20% down as well as a 620+ credit score. If you’re a first time buyer with lower than 20% down saved and lower than a 620 credit score, a FHA loan may be a good option for you. With FHA loans you can put as little as 3.5% down and have as low as a 580 credit score.

Step 7: Close the Sale

At closing you will sign all the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple days for the lender and underwriter to process all the documents. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you’re able to move into your new home.

At Kelly Hendrickson Homes, we are focused on helping you through the home buying and home selling process.