Buying a home involves many steps and pieces. Working with an experienced agent ensures you have the key elements in place before buying a home. We have compiled a checklist of the most important elements to aid in a smooth process.

Buying a Home- The PCS Homegirls

Here is a checklist of the 5 elements you need before buying a home:

1. Available Funds

These are all, well most, of the expenses that come with buying a home, aside from the purchase price. Of course you’ll have already been pre-approved for a loan, but there are additional costs to plan into your budget. Earnest money, appraisal costs, home inspection costs, down payment, and closing costs should be available. Before you start your home buying journey, work with your agent to help estimate the range of these fees, so you are not surprised or left unprepared.

2. Budget

Determine exactly how much YOU want to spend on this home. You’ve fallen in love with the home, location, and commute time. Can you really afford this house? Even if the answer is yes, is it an amount you are comfortable spending? Don’t be pressured to look for homes that you are pre-approved for, if you have no interest in paying the price. Maybe you’re planning on renting out the home, or you own another property. In those situations you may want to be a little more conservative. Your agent can connect you with a lender before house hurting begins, so know exactly which properties fit your specific criteria.

3. Needs vs. Wants

What are your deal breakers, and what would you consider a bonus element? Bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, outdoor space, fenced in yard, location, two car garage? Are you willing to sacrifice any of these elements in your home search? What are the non negotiable elements you want in your home? Even if you feel that you’re very flexible in your home search, be honest with your agent and yourself, what elements does your home need to be the right fit for your family.

4. Home Purchase Game Plan

It’s time to outline your plan of attack. Know how you’re going to shop. Are you buying locally or from a different duty station? Will you take house hunting leave at your new duty station to scope out where you want to live? Do you have a stringent timeline? Will you buy virtually – sight unseen? Think carefully and remember to be honest with yourself and your agent. You need to be comfortable and confident in your decision.

5. Home Purchase Game Plan B, C & D

Coming up with the best secondary options, and then some! Always have a backup plan! Even if you have your heart set on buying a home in your new location, it’s always a good idea to put your name on the post waiting list. It may take you longer to find a house than you think. There may be some repairs or remodeling that need to be completed before it’s move-in ready. If you purchase a new build, it could be delayed for a few months. Do some research and see what short-term rental options are available, maybe fully-furnished would be helpful too. Even if it’s not your original plan, having a secondary option will help you navigate the hiccups.

These five steps might seem like a lot, but if you have answers to these questions, and how you’d like to move in the event of each, then you’re well on your way to a successful home buying experience! We want you to be a confident and assertive home buyer, able to clearly make choices, and stick to the parameters that you have set. If you go into this process holding these cards, you’ll walk out a success! 

Looking for a military-friendly real estate agent in your area to buy or sell a home? Click here to fill out our Military Real Estate Questionnaire and we will help find you an agent that is a great fit or send a us a message.

Looking for a military-friendly real estate agent in your area to buy or sell a home? Click here to fill out our Military Real Estate Questionnaire and we will help find you an agent that is a great fit or send a us a message.

5 Things You Need before buying your first home The PCS Homegirls