Las Vegas Homes: A Step by Step Guide to Buying
For first-time home-buyers, navigating real estate can be a stressful experience, especially given that no two purchasing experiences are the same. It often isn’t until you set things in motion that there are unexpected hang-ups or issues that slow the process. This step-by-step guide to buying a Las Vegas home will help you to prepare for the process.
1. Decide if Buying is Right for You
People are often hung up on the idea of owning their own home, and not aware of the full reality of it. In some cases, renting may be the better option – such as in cases where you’re planning to move within the next few years, if you prefer to remain flexible in your living situation, or if you are averse to home repairs, repair costs, and routine annual maintenance.
2. Credit Scores
The next step is to check your credit—it’ll play a significant role in your interest costs and mortgage payments, and not everyone is up to date on where their credit stands. Checking your credit score and any negative marks will need to be done to make sure you don’t run into any problems when you’re working on loan applications.
3. Improve Your Credit Score
If you found any mistakes on your report, now is the time to get them fixed, as they’ll have a negative impact down the line. If your credit score is lower than you would like, now is also the time to set about improving it. Take this time to pay down your debts, make sure all bills are on time, and talk to a financial advisor to discover other methods of improvement.
4. Find a Lender
You’ll want to find a lender before you find your perfect home so that you don’t get any surprises later or have to rush to find a lender that is not working in your best interest. Don’t be afraid to interview lenders to find the right fit—pick three or four to choose from, and get a preapproval or prequalification rate to help give you more leverage once you found your perfect home.
5. Set Your Budget
You’ll need to look not just at your mortgage but at how much you’ll need upfront, including down payment and closing costs, and tax and insurance payments. You’ll want to balance this with all your monthly fixed expenses – this means factoring in your mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit card payments, utilities, subscriptions, and other monthly services or expenses – which should all equal no more than 50% of your after-taxes paychecks.
6. Figure Out Your Must-Have Features
It’s time to narrow down the type of home in which you see yourself, what your deal breakers might be, and what features you’ll be willing to live without. It’s a good idea to sit down and come up with the top five features you want or need, and find areas on which you can compromise.
7. Find a Knowledgeable Las Vegas Real Estate Agent
You’ll want a Real Estate Agent who is knowledgeable about Las Vegas homes and neighborhoods, someone who is interested in helping out when things begin to get complicated, and who puts your needs first. Much like lenders, don’t be afraid to interview a few to choose the best.
8. Closing & Settlement
Even if you’ve signed the contract for a home, issues might still arise. Home inspections may reveal foundation damage or areas that need repair, the appraisal may not have been accurate, or there are mistakes on the title documents that will need to be fixed.
Keep in mind that the deal isn’t complete until you’ve reached a settlement and signed all the paperwork with your title agent or attorney, handed over the down payment, and are given the keys to your new home. While purchasing a home can be a headache at times, the end result is a home of your own and a feeling of accomplishment.
Contact us today to discuss the process and your options.