When it’s okay to fall in love…
Okay so you are ready to buy a house. You’re super excited, shopping online, looking at what area of town you want to be in, thinking about what kind of house you want. It’s usually about this time that you pick the first house that you know is “the one” and you call a Realtor. You do need to see the inside before you make an offer after all, right? And in our current market, this is also about the time you find out that that house is no longer available, maybe even received multiple offers. So you cry a little, get a little discouraged and then pick yourself up again – kind of like dating. After the obligatory wait period (different for everyone LOL) you keep looking and find a couple others that may fit the bill. It’s official – you are now shopping for a home!
It’s super important to understand the home buying process though and at which point that house is really going to be yours, for real. Just making an offer and getting it accepted does not mean that this is now your house. There are still a few things that need to happen – when you have an accepted offer it is NOT the time to fall in love with the house.
Now that you have your dream home on the hook it’s time to make sure that this really is the one. Just like any relationship you have to go through some history and baggage and decide if you are still willing to take this partner on. A house has a story all its’ own and to be an informed buyer you need to do inspections. You want to make sure that there are no defects or issues that would rule this house out for you. Once you have completed inspections you now know what you are dealing with and you can decide if it’s still the one for you….but you still can’t fall in love yet.
Next you must make sure that the value of the home is in line with what you are willing to pay for it (unless you’re paying cash). Your lender makes sure you are qualified to get the loan – but the house also has to pass the test. An appraiser will go out and assess the property and its’ improvements and make sure the bank is making a sound investment. If that value is at or higher than what you are in contract for, only then can you really FALL IN LOVE!
After the contingency period has past – that’s what Realtors call it – you can start talking paint and picking furniture. Though you still have to wait for the loan documents to come through you know that you are acceptable to the condition of the home, you know the value of the home, and you know you still want it! It can be hard to try to stay objective about one of the biggest investments you will ever make and the place you will now be spending a lot of time but it is important for your mental to know these steps when going through this process because no home sale is complete until the house is recorded in your name. There are a lot of hoops that need to be jumped through and processes that need to happen to make that dream a reality. Especially in a competitive market like ours where inventory is low and demand is high.