How to Prepare to Buy a Home: First, Use This Checklist

Even a first-time home buyer knows that a new home is not an impulse purchase. You can’t just waltz in and declare, “I’ll take it!”

Long before you get to making that offer (on paper, through your real estate agent)—and even before going to your first open house—there are a ton of things to do and to prepare.

Overwhelmed? Here’s a checklist of everything you need to do to get ready to buy a new home.

1. Check your credit score

Do not pass “Go,” and do not start looking at real estate until you have checked your credit score. This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are creditworthy, and will dictate the rate you will be charged by the bank.

The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate—and that’s what you’re going for. Get a free copy of yours at

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Wait Or Do It Now?

America has long been known as a mobile society, starting from the days of the pioneers. The pandemic and the gathering recession make buying a new house problematical. What if now, for whatever reason, you need to pull up stakes and find a new dwelling? And you have to sell your old home? To answer that question, we turn to the sage Rick Kahler, the founder of Kahler Financial Group, in Rapid City, S.D.

Larry Light: Why, amid these bad times, would someone want to move?

Rick Kahler: Suppose that you retired last year, you’re ready to downsize or move to a warmer climate, and you have been getting your house ready to sell. Or suppose you recently made a career move that includes relocating to a different part of the country.

Light: Given the economic and emotional uncertainties around the COVID-19

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How To Buy A House Without A Realtor

Buying a home without a real estate agent can save you money on commissions and allow you to shop on your own timeline. Here’s the process you’ll go through to buy a home without a buyer’s agent.

Step 1: Get Preapproved For A Mortgage

When you buy a home without a real estate agent, the first thing you’ll need to do is get preapproved. A preapproval is a way to find out what you can afford so you don’t shop for homes outside your budget. It’s also a way to show sellers you’re serious when you’re making an offer; preapproval shows that your financing won’t fall through.


You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved online and see how much you can afford. Just answer some questions about your income, assets and the home you want to buy. Then, we’ll check your credit to give

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6 Critical Things to Look for When Buying a House

While everybody knows that buyers shop based on price range, there are many additional considerations to make when looking for a home. And, most buyers end up refining their criteria once they start touring homes. Ultimately, your home criteria should depend on your personal lifestyle and needs. Regardless of what you’re looking for, here are some general rules you should follow to make sure you’ll be happy with the home you buy for the foreseeable future.

What are the top features buyers look for in a home?

Today’s buyers are juggling many different priorities when it comes to buying a home, but according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, here are the features that rank as very important or extremely important to most buyers.

Neighborhood wants and needs for buyers

  • Safety: 82% say a neighborhood that feels safe is very or extremely important
  • Walkability: 60% say it’s
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Best Time to Buy a House: Best Month, Season and Why?

In general, there are three ways to evaluate the best time to buy a home:

  1. Best month: In every real estate market, there’s always a best month to buy a house or best season to buy — even in a down market.
  2. Best year for market and economy: Broader market trends, the state of the economy and your local job market can also dictate a better or worse time to buy.
  3. Best time for you: Market characteristics aside, you should plan to buy when it makes sense for your personal finances and moving timeline.

When is the best month to buy a house?

Late summer is the best season to buy a house if you want a shopping experience with enough inventory to find a home you love, while benefiting from sellers lowering prices before the fall. Therefore, the best month to buy a house is August.

Generally speaking, buyers

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9 Options to Choose From

Your house was perfect for you and your family when you bought it — years ago. But you’ve all grown, and now it’s time to find something that’s a better fit.

In short, you need to buy a new house while selling your current one. How do you do this? What are your options?

First: Do your research

Before you begin the process of choosing the best way to buy a house while selling your own, talk to a real estate agent who can explain your options to you. “The most important thing is to make sure you are partnered with someone who knows and understands all of your options,” says Beth Nordaune, a top real estate agent in Rochester, Minnesota.

Before you decide how you’ll buy a house while your current house is on the market, a real estate agent can give you a sense for what your house

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Ultimate Checklist for Buying a House

Most Americans consider buying a house as a significant life goal. Homeownership offers stability and a sense of security and safety and for some, it is an essential rite of passage into adulthood. As you pursue your dream of homeownership, it’s crucial to understand the many moving parts to the home buying process and protect yourself from the risk of becoming “house broke.” This ultimate checklist for buying a house will help you cover all your bases.

buying a house checklist

1. Know how much you can afford

Determining how much house you can afford is the first step in the buying a house checklist – getting this number set will relieve stress in the long run. Start with your current budget and calculate your monthly income and expenses. Don’t forget to take into consideration the price variance in different locations. For example, a home in Anchorage, AK has a lower median sales price

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10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home

Buying Secret #10: Keep Your Money Where It Is

It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.

Buying Secret #9: Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford

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What Buying a House “As Is” Really Means

house

Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

You found a house in your dream neighborhood. It has the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms and a nice backyard. It’s just what you were looking for.

Then you learn it is being sold “as is.” That house that seemed so perfect now seems a bit frightening.

Follow these 100 tips when buying a house.

Selling as house “as is” basically means the seller will make no repairs or improvements and is selling the house in its current condition, according to realtor.com. In many cases, the houses are “as is” because the seller can’t afford to make the improvements.

Learn how to inspect your home like a home inspector.

“Once you buy that house, it’s yours and you’re pretty much stuck with whatever decision you made, so you really need to be very educated and thorough about what you’re doing,” said David Tamny, owner of Professional Property Inspection

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