Things a possible home buyer needs to do before purchasing a home.
  1. Save money!
    You will need money to move. You will have your down parent for the home, closing costs (possibly), moving expenses (truck, movers, cleaning, lunch and/or dinner and beer to bribe family and friends to help you move, etc), insurance, utility deposits, furniture. These are all items you can discuss with your lender/bank.
  2. Get Preapproval
    Contact a mortgage loan officer about your financing. You will need to know what type of loan you are approved for - which will help in your home search, and you will need to know exactly how much of a loan you qualify for. (Again to help in your home search) you will save a lot of time doing this FIRST.
  3. Contact a good Realtor.
    You will need someone to represent YOU in one of the biggest investments of your life. Whether you are buying a preowned home, a newly built home, or a FSBO (home being sold by owner), no one can look out for you and your investment better than your OWN Realtor.
  4. Narrow your search
    I call this your "dream list". What do you need? 3 bedrooms? Baths? Garage? Updated? A Realtor will help you narrow your search and decide which houses fit your criteria matching your budget. Being realistic, not many can afford 24 karat toilets - that is another way your Realtor can help you maximize your budget.
  5. Find a great search website
    There are many websites out there that cater to home buyers. Many are not very reliable. Ask your Realtor if he/she has a great suggestion of one for you. These websites should provide all the updated listings (homes) on the market where you are looking. They provide specs of homes for sale, photos, maps, etc.
  6. Work with your Realtor
    Provide your Realtor with a list of homes you may be interested in viewing. Your Realtor, as well, should be suggesting homes for you to see. Schedule a day/time and start looking!
  7. Screen your viewed homes.
    Take notes of each home you are interested in. If you immediately "toss out" any homes that you are not interested in, you can narrow your decision. Most people know when they look at a home whether or not they like the home. If you don't like it, move on! Don't waste your time, the seller's time and your Realtor's time by staying at the home too long, going back to it, or keeping it on your list.
  8. Start looking!