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A Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home

Buying a home is a unique process. There are a lot of steps required to get from the initial decision to the final move in day, so it’s important to understand them and have an accurate idea of what the timeline will look like before you get started.

Luckily, The Degnan Group is here to help. Use this complete timeline get a clear picture of the process and understand the steps before you dive in.

Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order

Buying a home is a big investment, and the first step is to take a serious look at your finances. During this time, it’s a good idea to visit a bank or lender to get pre-approved for a loan.

Pre-approval is helpful because you can start your process with an exact budget. Outstanding debts or low credit can impact the loan amount you receive, and you don’t want to be surprised with a number you don’t expect after you make an offer on a home. Additionally, pre-approval can also make your offer more attractive to the sellers. After this is complete, asses the numbers, decide on the budget you can afford and move on to step two.

Step 2: Hire a Real Estate Agent

After your finances are organized, it’s time to hire a real estate agent. They are helpful in the house hunt, especially for first-time buyers, because they understand the process and can walk you through it. Their valuable insight can help you choose the best neighborhoods for your needs and find homes with fair pricing.

The Degnan Group has over 150 years of combined experience in the Toledo real estate market, so booking an appointment with us before you tackle the daunting task of house hunting on your own just makes sense.

Step 3: Shop Around

Now for the fun part. Some real estate agents estimate that it takes around 10 showings for a client to find their dream home. Although most see them on the weekends, it’s also possible to visit them throughout the week as well. Your schedule and the number of houses you view can make the time it takes to complete variable, but often you can expect to be visiting houses for anywhere between one week and one month.

Step 4: Make an Offer

So, you found your dream home. Unlike most purchases, buying a house requires a lot more than just money changing hands. When you make an offer, your agent will draw up a contract that both you and the homeowner will sign. During this time, you’ll be required to deposit money into escrow (usually a small percentage of the house price) and then it’s time to prepare for the closing.

Step 5: Prepare for Closing

This is one of the most time-consuming steps in the timeline. Before you complete the purchase, you need to get the home inspected and appraised, secure your loan with the lender (the pre-approval was only the first step), and handle all of the paperwork. When you work with The Degnan Group, our agents will help you stay organized and take care of everything you need like the title and homeowners insurance, closing disclosure, and more.

Step 6: Final Walkthrough

Often, a month or more will pass between the offer and the final walkthrough. During this time, a lot can happen in the home, so it’s important to visit it one last time before the closing meeting.

At the walkthrough, you and your agent will take a final look at the house and make sure repairs or anything else that was specified in your offer contract was completed. This is also a good time to ensure the home is clean, check all the appliances, run the taps and showers, inspect the area for any new leaks or damage, and all around just make sure that the house is up to your expected standards before the sale is finalized.

Step 7: Complete the Purchase

The final walkthrough should be completed within 24 hours of closing the sale. The closing meeting is the last step and will be a meeting between the buyer, the seller, the real estate agents for each, the mortgage lender, attorneys, and a closing agent. Here you’ll both sign any required documents and the money and ownership will officially change hands.

Step 8: Move In!

After the closing, it’s time to move in. In most cases, it’s possible to do it immediately after the meeting is over because ownership has been transferred and now the home is (finally!) in your name. Congratulations!

Buy Your Home with The Degnan Group

When you purchase a home in Toledo, this is a rough outline of the steps you can expect to follow throughout the process. However, every case is different and the timeline can certainly vary. Because of that, working with a real estate agent from The Degnan Group is the best way to streamline the process and ensure that it runs smoothly from start to finish. If you’re ready to embark on the journey to your dream home, call The Degnan Group today!

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