Step-By-Step Guide to Buying Your Perfect Home in Washington

What does it take to buy a home in Washington?

Whether you’re looking for a better deal in Vancouver from the growth in Portland, want to buy in Seattle or get something in Walla Walla, Washington offers a wide range of opportunities.

A total of $47.2 billion of real estate was sold throughout Washington in 2018, with all areas seeing signs of a very healthy market.

Would you like to know how you can buy a home in Washington? Check out this guide that shows you the process step by step to buying a home.

Check Your Finances

Do you know how much one-quarter of a percent can cost you when buying a home?

When you’re looking at your monthly payments, it won’t look like much. However, when you add up the costs over the life of the mortgage, you can be paying thousands more in interest.

The main factor in determining the interest rate on your mortgage is your credit score. Just a few points could make a big difference in your interest rate and how much your payment is every month.

Learning step by step to buying a home is to know your finances inside and out. That starts with your credit score. You want to give yourself time to look at your credit score and make corrections and increase your score.

If you have any existing debt, you’ll want to get that paid down quickly. Also, don’t take out any new credit cards, or apply for any new loans. These usually require a credit check, which will lower your credit score by a few points.

Save Up for Closing Costs & Down Payment

You know that you’re going to pay a down payment for your home. You’ll need to take into account the costs to close on the home and other fees.

You should account for closing costs to be between 1% and 3% of the price of the home.

This is also a good time to set your home budget. Your home budget should account for the monthly mortgage payments, maintenance costs, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

You don’t want to fall in love with a home only to find that you can’t qualify for a mortgage or that you can’t afford it. That’s why getting preapproved early in the process is helpful to you.

You may find that you’re preapproved for a home loan that’s much larger than your monthly budget. That happens, but you want to make sure that you can afford the home that you buy and are able to maintain it.

You’ll want to stick with your budget, but it is nice to know you have the flexibility of a preapproval letter.

Make Your Dream House List

You have a big part of the process out of the way, which is getting your finances and loans in order. Now is the time to have fun.

You want to be clear about what you want in a home. It helps you and your real estate agent before you start shopping. It also gives your real estate direction to find the right house for you.

For example, a mid-century modern home with a big yard is important to you, or you just want something with an open concept kitchen and a fireplace in the living room.

Make a list of the amenities that you really have to have, square footage, storage space and anything else that is important to you.

Make another list of things that would be nice to have, but you can live without. Finally, make a third list of things that you’re indifferent towards.

You can start looking at different home designs on the web. You can check out different home builders or look for homes in the area where you want to live for inspiration.

Find a Real Estate Agent & Look for Homes

Real estate agents are going to love working with you because you are making their job much, much easier. You already did the legwork, now you can hand everything off to a real estate agent to find the perfect home for you.

You definitely want to have someone on your side who is an industry expert and can guide you towards purchasing the perfect home for your family.

Put Down an Offer

You have your list of needs and wants in a home, which will prevent you from buying a home purely on emotion. When you and your real estate agent come across the right home, you’ll want to put down an offer.

This is the reason why you want to work with an agent. Offers and contracts in real estate are lengthy and complicated. You want to work with a professional who understands the complexities and make sure your offer stands out to buyers.

Get the Home Inspected

In most places in Washington, this is merely an option while other towns in the state will require them.

You should have the home inspected regardless. You don’t want to find any unpleasant issues in the structure of the home after you get the keys. You may have overlooked something when you looked at the home.

Some things like structural damage or wiring issues may not be apparent to you. That’s why you want to have an inspector take a closer look at the home.

Get the Keys

Learning step by step to buying a home is quite a process. This last step will make it all worthwhile because you get the keys.

In Washington, this is called the settlement. It’s where you sign a lot of paperwork and exchange funds to finalize the transaction. At the end of it, you have the keys to your new home.

Step by Step to Buying a Home

Buying a home in Washington can be very exciting. You have access to just about everything in the state. You could be in the metropolitan center of Seattle, in the middle of world-class wines in Walla-Walla, or just outside the Canada border in Bellingham.

Now is an excellent time to make a home purchase, as long as you know the process step by step to buying a home.

Would you like more home tips? Check out this article about shopping for a mortgage.

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