Boise Real Estate | The Home Buying Process

Posted by Jace Stolfo on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 at 3:16pm.

Basic Home Buying Process & Tips Step

1: Determine what you can afford

If don’t have a written budget you are going to want to make one.  How much of a house payment fits into your budget?

Step 2: Get Pre-Approved

If  you're a first time home buyer, make sure you talk to a lender who does Idaho Housing Loans (IHFA Loans).   These loans are often the most competitive with lower interest rates and smaller down payment requirements.  Ask the lender to give you give you a few different options and a "good faith estimate"  that shows you all the costs associated with the loans and what your payment would be.  You can find good lender's that I recommend here.  The lender who pre-approves you is not the person you have to use, but this should be one of first things you do when you're considering buying a home.

Step 3:  Find a good Realtor

Working with most Realtors as a buyer is free. How is that? Well, when a seller lists their home with an agent they usually pay a commission to the listing agent and the listing agent offers a portion of that to the buyer's agents in the area.  There are many advantages working with a Realtor but sure it is someone you like, trust, and is experienced.  Don't work with anyone who try's to rush you in making decisions or makes you feel like you can't ask questions.

Step 4:  Where do you want to live?

Home prices can change drastically depending on the area.  For example, you get a lot more house in Meridian than North Boise but, if you work downtown, is the extra commute worth it?  Each area has pros and cons, I recommend that you have a Realtor show you homes in the various areas so you can see what your options are.  You can then begin to prioritize what's most important to you: the neighborhood, location, proximity to work, etc.

Step 5: Want kind of house do you want?

Bedrooms, bath, single-story vs. two story, age of home, etc.  Other things held equal, you can get more square footage for your money in a two story home than a single level.  What about the master-bedroom upstairs?  Maybe you don’t mind but could be negative at resale later.

Step 6: Find your home

As you have now focused down the area and features of your ideal home, your Realtor should be able to help you find your top several homes, prioritizing them 1-2-3.

Step 7: The offer

Your Realtor will help you form your offer and come up with a game plan to negotiate with the sellers.  Right now is so much fun to buy because it's a “buyer’s market” and sellers are flexible.  Make sure your offer is contingent on a home inspection!

Step 8:  The Basic Contingencies 

Once you have a signed purchase and sale agreement, you typically have 3 to 4 weeks to close on the property.  During that time, the contingencies laid out in the agreement are met.  These usually include:

1) Home Inspection- After you have an accepted offer you will have your home inspection.  Once you get the list of items that could be addressed, determine with your Realtor what you want to ask for the seller to fix.  If they don’t agree to fix the things you demand you can walk away (if the offer was written correctly!).

2) Clear Title- The title company will search the public records to see if there are any liens or any clouds on the Title.

3) Final Loan Approval- You got pre-approved before you began looking for a home, now your loan application goes through underwriting process and get formal approval.

4) Appraisal- The house must appraise for at least the purchase price.

Step 9: All Contingencies Satisfied and Proceed to Closing

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