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Home Buying Checklist

Here's a step-by-step checklist to help you go through the home buying process & avoid the most common problems

Getting ready to buy a home? Or already started the homebuying process and looking for guidance?

The best advice when you start house hunting is to have a plan. As you look at homes your priorities can certainly change, but you should start with a list to keep you on track. You can use the simple home buying checklist below to guide you step-by-step through the entire process. Then you can relax and focus on the important details!

(If you would like to print a copy of this checklist, here is a printer-friendly version).

1) Create your "dream home" wish list

___________size of house

___________number of bedrooms

___________town(s)

___________location (neighborhood or secluded, city or rural, etc)

___________house style(s)

___________price range

___________other important factors

___________

___________


2) Pay off as much debt as possible

___________student loans

___________credit cards

___________other loans/debt


3) Get a free copy of your credit report from all 3 credit agencies

___________get a free copy of your credit report

___________Equifax

___________Experian

___________TransUnion

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4) Clean up your credit report as much as possible

___________remove errors

___________remove negative items


5) Hire a real estate agent

___________meet & interview

___________compare several agents

___________sign agreement to represent you as a home buyer


6) Get pre-qualified for a mortgage

___________apply online or at your local bank

___________compare interest rates

___________compare fees

___________get letter of "pre-qualification"


7) Start house hunting

___________MLS listings from your realtor

___________newspapers

___________online listings

___________drive through town

___________supermarket "freebies" (real estate listings magazines)


8) Make an offer to buy the home you want

___________compare house values (www.Zillow.com)

___________make an offer you can afford & is reasonable (not necessarily the maximum you can borrow)


9) Get a home inspection

___________hire a professional (preferably an engineer if you can afford)

___________observe the inspector during the inspection and ask questions

___________read the report very carefully

___________negotiate any problems the sellers may need to fix

10) Get homeowners insurance

___________get several quotes & compare premiums

___________discuss your needs with insurance agent to get the right coverage


11) Hire an attorney

___________contact several real estate attorneys and compare fees and services


12) Do a final walk through

___________"walk through" the house before closing

___________make sure any problems negotiated after the inspection are fixed

___________make sure nothing has changed, nothing is missing that should stay, etc.



13) Get ready for closing

___________set the closing date

___________contact your attorney to complete any paperwork

___________attend closing (with realtor), sign all paperwork & obtain the keys to the house


14) Start packing

___________pack your belongings

___________compare movers or prepare to move yourself

___________consider that your new house may need some work before unpacking (cleaning, painting, etc.)


15) Enjoy your new home!

___________call your inspector if something important was missed during inspection

___________enjoy your home!


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