10 Steps to Buying a Home in Wake County

Thinking of buying a home in western Wake County? Make sure you know what to expect—whether you're a first-time buyer or a real estate aficionado. Here's a step-by-step overview of the home buying process.

Step 1: Figure out what you can afford.

Take a look at your finances and determine what you might be able to afford to pay each month for your mortgage. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments at various home prices, down payments, interest rates, and more.

Don't forget to take into account additional costs, like closing costs, home maintenance, utilities, HOA fees, and more.

Step 2: Shop for a loan and get preapproved.

Finding a trustworthy lender and determining what type of loan you'll qualify for will help you figure out how much home you can actually afford. A good lender will also likely want to get you preapproved for a loan to ensure there aren't any red flags standing between you and homeownership!

Getting preapproved is a great way to determine how much you can actually afford, what that amount might look like on a monthly basis, and whether you're likely to have any hangups with credit or other financial roadblocks. It's also a great way to show sellers you're a serious buyer!

Step 3: Determine the selling price of homes in your location.

If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area—not just their listing price—to confirm whether you can actually afford that location. Have a particular neighborhood in Western Wake County you'd like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!

Step 4: Find an agent.

Working with an agent isn't required... but it is highly recommended, even if you are an experienced investor. A real estate agent brings an unparalleled level of experience and expertise to the table and can both guide and advise you through the home buying process, every step along the way. Plus, for buyers, working with an agent doesn't cost you anything; the seller pays both agents' commissions!

Step 5: Find your home.

This is the fun part, where you get to visit open houses, tour homes, take notes, and really hone in on your perfect dream home! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked and didn't like, the pros and cons of each, and your overall impression. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh. Buying a home in the Triangle? Start searching for your dream home today!

Step 6: Make an offer.

When you find a home you truly love, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offer. You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your budget but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject the offer. This is where it's especially important to do some research into what other similar homes are selling for in your neighborhood—comparables such as these will give you a very good idea of what the home is actually worth, regardless of how it's priced. Your agent should be able to provide this market data for you.

Step 7: Get an inspection.

Nothing's finalized yet, so make sure you're getting your money's worth! Ask your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems after your offer has been accepted. A home inspector will analyze the home from top to bottom, attic to basement, roof to foundation, to ensure that everything's in good working order—and to make note of any potential maintenance or structural issues.

Step 8: Renegotiate for repairs.

If any issues surface in the home inspection, you as the buyer have the right to request repairs or reductions of the seller. Should the seller refuse to make these repairs or reduce the price of the home, you have the right to walk away from the sale, no consequences. This is an important contingency clause in the Purchase and Sale Agreement of the home that prevents you, as the buyer, from buying into a major maintenance headache!

Step 9: Finalize your loan.

Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.

Step 10: Close and pay.

It's time to close! Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Then it's time to finally get the keys to your new home!

Your Western Wake County Buying Resource

If you're thinking of buying a home in western Wake County, then it's time to contact Gilliam & Associates. We're your local real estate experts, and not only can we answer all your buying questions, but we can also help connect you with the resources you need to make an informed buying decision. Take a look at some of the real estate resources we have to offer—so you're sure to find your dream home at just the right price!

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