You may have noticed we have been really quiet on our blog and social sites the last 2 weeks. That is because we just moved into our new home! It’s been a long two weeks of final packing, cleaning, moving and getting everything changed over to the new house. But we are now in! I’m so excited. But before I get into telling you all about it; I need to finish off helping you buy a house of your own!
Last time we shared the top 12 steps on how to buy a house the easy way. We let you know how to pick out the house and how to be prepared for the smoothest home buying experience. If you haven’t read it; you definitely don’t want to miss out. Now; lets talk about what happens after you pick the home and how you buy a house; the nitty-gritty details.
Buy a House follow up steps
So you found the home! What next? Once you have the home of your choosing, you will work with your agent to come up with a great offer. This may include a reduction in price, asking the seller to change/upgrade features as part of the deal, asking seller to cover part or all of closing costs. There are a lot of variables that could be apart of this. If you have a good agent like we had; your agent will know best how to negotiate on your behalf based on the particular home and by the motivation of the seller.
Again this comes back to making sure you have an amazing agent. Ours was more concerned about getting us into the RIGHT house, and not just getting us into a house so she could collect her commission. Having the right agent is paramount. If you are moving to the Wasatch Front area of Utah; I again highly recommend Laura B. from Your Home in Utah. I can’t praise her enough for the amazing job she did for us.
Our agent was fantastic. She made the negotiation process a breeze. She helped us navigate to a price and terms we were very satisfied with. We wrote up the offer. Filled out all the “fun” contracts. (You better have your signing hand warmed up; there are a lot of papers to sign).
We then wrote our Earnest Money check and she had it submitted within a few hours.
Oh! Earnest Money. You may be wondering what that is. It’s sort of like money you put forward to show how serious you are on wanting the house. Usually it is $1000. But sometimes it can be as low as $500. But not usually. Plan for the $1000. Usually if you have a VA loan, you get this money back at closing as long as you meet all the deadlines. Each type of loan is different, so make sure you find out what happens with your Earnest Money based on the type of home loan you are getting.
Now the “waiting game” begins. It is so nerve wracking. Checking the phone and email every 15-20 minutes. Hanging on a thread waiting to hear if your offer was accepted, denied or countered.
Really you want accepted, but that doesn’t happen a lot to be accepted the first time. Counter offers are still OK. That means the seller is still willing to negotiate with you. Denied is not so good.
We got a counter offer. But surprisingly, our seller accepted all but the price! We were nervous that they would have issue with how fast we wanted to close the deal. But thankfully that wasn’t an issue. So they countered a new price. We countered back. It was accepted. And now we are officially in contract!
At this point we go into due diligence. Meaning we have time to back out for any reason, not lose our earnest money and can get out of the deal. But we don’t want to back out so we are proceeding. This is the time when you get the house inspected, you check how much property taxes are, you hunt for home insurance to see how much the house will cost, etc. Basically you are doing a lot of research on this particular house to make sure this really is the house and neighborhood you want to live in and can still afford it with city utilities, insurance, taxes, etc.
Next we set up the inspection. This is something the buyer (us) pays for. Cost for this varies based on your city, and the size of your home. But it is usually around $300-375. The inspector is a neutral 3rd party, who is trained to make sure the home is up to code and to spot any flaws in the home. Make sure if you are using a VA home loan; that the inspector knows beforehand. There is extra paperwork for a VA loan they have to fill out. And make sure he does an insect/pest inspection.
You will be able to visit the house with the home inspector. He will be able to point out any flaws he finds and give you advice for what should be fixed as well. If he is a good home inspector he will make you aware of the small things as well as the big. We used Douglas from Archibald Home Inspection, INC. He is very thorough. He has experience in construction and building so he knows a lot of the minute details to watch out for. He is licensed and well experienced. He did a great job and is well priced. So if you need a home inspection in the Wasatch Front of Utah; he is definitely your man!
Do I still want to buy this house?
After you get his report, you will know if the home has any wiring issues, foundation issues, plumbing issues, or needs any kinds of repairs, etc. Then you have the choice to accept the home as is, renegotiate with the seller to fix any issues the inspector finds, or walk away.
At this time read over your home inspection and discuss it with your Realtor. If there are major flaws you desired fixed; that can be added to the contract of buying the home if the Seller agrees to fix the issues before closing date. This can include broken items in home, bad wiring, bad plumbing issues, etc.
We were truly blessed that our home only had a few cosmetic flaws; and are rather easy to fix. So we didn’t need to renegotiate at this point. We were happy with what the inspection showed. No termites, no structural issues, no wiring issues, a solid home.
The next step of buying a home; is a lot of waiting, nail biting, and so I’m going to leave you hanging for the final installment of how to buy a home part 3! I know..so mean. But goodness; you have to understand part of the anxiety we went through this last month. Haha!