The process of buying a house can be confusing not just for first-time buyers but also for experienced ones.
To help you with your Las Vegas home buying journey, I’ve highlighted the most important aspects of home buying in this handy guide.
- Deciding to buy
Owning a home is a serious investment that should be made only when you’re ready. Check the local market conditions and mortgage rates before you start your search.
Also, if you want to make the most out of a home purchase, you should live in the same place for at least five years.
- Preparing to buy
Once you’ve decided to buy, it’s time to get your finances in order. This includes looking into your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and savings. All these factors will help determine the home you can afford.
Having a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or below puts you in the best position to qualify for a loan with good interest rates.
Ideally, your credit score should be 620 or higher. A high credit score shows that you’re financially responsible. Always check your credit reports for any errors or inconsistencies and have them corrected as soon as possible.
Get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan to get an idea of how much you’re able to borrow. A pre-approval letter also tells sellers you’re serious about home buying.
You should also consider the different mortgage options available to you. The most common mortgage types are:
- Fixed-rate mortgages – These loans have the same interest rate over the duration of the loan term. Your monthly mortgage payment will be the same all throughout.
- Adjustable-rate mortgages– Characterized by shifting monthly interest rates that can increase or decrease depending on market conditions.
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan –A government-backed loan ideal for first-time home buyers and a great option for those with less than ideal credit scores.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) loan – Another form of a government-backed loan for those buying a house in the military. It is only offered to veterans, those in active military service, and their families as long as they meet certain qualifications.
Different loans require different down payments. Traditionally, the down payment should be 20% of a home’s sales price. However, some loans require as little as 6% while others don’t require any down payment.
- Finding the right buyer’s agent
The whole buying process can be made easy with the help of the right buyer’s agent. To identify the right agent for your needs, make sure they have the following qualifications:
- A valid real estate license and proper designations
- Experienced in the type of property you’re looking to buy
- Has up-to-date market knowledge in your target area/s
- Great negotiations skills
- Strong communication skills
- Connections with other industry professionals
- Great references
If you’re moving because of a Permanent Change of Station, hiring an agent who’s also a military relocation specialist is essential. They know the ins and outs of the Permanent Change of Station process and are experienced with military purchases.
- Searching for homes that fit your lifestyle
The house hunt is what buyers look forward to the most in the home buying process. Go online and see what type of homes are available in your target neighborhoods.
To narrow down potential house choices, concentrate on properties within your price range that have the amenities you need. When you’ve found the home that suits your needs, it’s time to put in an offer.
- Escrow and appraisals
After the offer has been accepted, the escrow process begins. An escrow officer will collect and prepare the documents for both you and the seller.
When obtaining a mortgage, your lender will order an appraisal to assess the value of the property you’re buying. The escrow officer will also hold your deposit in escrow during this time.
Review any disclosures given to you by the seller and implement due diligence by hiring a home inspector. If the home inspection finds any major defects, you can use them to re-negotiate the deal or terminate the contract.
- Closing the deal
In Nevada, closing can take a couple of days and goes as follows:
- The lender will send the final loan documents to the escrow agent
- A final walk-through of the property will be done to ensure it’s in the same condition you last saw it in.
- The seller and buyer sign all closing documents.
- The buyer will sign the final loan documents.
- The deed of transfer is registered with the corresponding municipality.
- The escrow agent distributes the funds to the appropriate parties.
Once all the steps above are done, the home is officially yours!
- Moving in
All that’s left for you to do now is settle into your new home. Make sure to properly label your boxes and keep an inventory of your items so things won’t get lost during the move.
Find your dream home in Las Vegas!
For the best buying experience in Centennial Hills, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Summerlin, Southern Highlands, and Henderson, get in touch with me, Loralee Wood! Call 702.419.3212 or send an email to[email protected]
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There are plenty of home buying guides online, but not enough resources of military home buying. To fill that void, I listed down a couple of tried and tested tips sure to make the process of military relocation easier whether you are a seasoned service member still on active duty or a veteran looking to enjoy your days as a private citizen comfortably. In this home buying guide, we touch on MRPs and what makes them different from the average realtor, VA financing benefits you’ll want to know, and a simple reminder about your credit score, among other things. Click here to learn more.
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