Step 1: Write a “must-haves” list
It’s important to know what you need in a house. Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or buying a new home, there are likely items you can’t live without. Before meeting with your agent write out a list of what you must have in a home. Keep in mind as you start looking at homes, your must-haves may change. Focus on the most important items such as number of bedrooms over things like paint color which can easily be changed.
Now that you have your lists in hand, it’s time to sit down with your real estate agent to firm up the details of home buying. Feel free to ask as lots of questions and voice any fears you may have about the process. Working with a real estate agent removes the guesswork from the process and will ensure you have access to the most recent sales data.
Step 3: Get pre-approved
Loan pre-approval will act as an outline to your home search process and will be necessary when submitting an offer. If you don’t have a trusted loan officer, ask your agent, it’s likely that they have a great recommendation. Once you know what you are approved for, it will be easy to set your budget.
Step 4: Decide on budget
Based on your lists of needs and don’t needs as well as your your pre-approval amount, your real estate agent will help set a realistic budget for you. No matter how tempting, only look at homes within your budget to prevent falling in love with something you can’t afford.
Step 5: Walk neighborhoods
The areas in and around Denver are full of diverse neighborhoods that cater to different age groups and phases of life. Before you begin your search, spend some time walking the neighborhoods to get a feel for the culture.
Step 6: Start searching
Ask your agent to set you up on a home search email notification system. Each time a home in your criteria hits the MLS, you will get an email with all of the details. When you find a home you love, call your agent and get a showing scheduled! Be willing to look at a variety of home styles (i.e. tri-level vs. ranch). You never know what gems could be hiding in your price point.
Buying a home can be a stressful process, which is why it’s important to have a real estate agent you trust to guide you. Do your best to enjoy the ride, listen to your agent and get ready to move into your new home