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Home Buying Checklist

Buying a home is a complicated procedure.  If you aren’t organized, it can quickly overwhelm you.  It’s important to stay on top of the process since mistakes could potentially result in you missing out the opportunity to buy your dream home.  This checklist will help you stay on track when you’re buying a home.

__  Think about what your requirements for a new home are (size, location, schools, etc.)

__  Figure out what you can afford.  See FindLaw’s Checklist to Help You Decide if You're Ready to Buy A Home for help.

__  Determine what you can spend on a down payment

__  Investigate the neighborhoods that you would like to live in.  Are they convenient, livable?  What is the crime rate there?

__  Research the type of mortgage you want

__  Speak to a number of different lenders and mortgage brokers to learn more

__  Look for the lowest interest rate and most favorable terms

__  Obtain pre-approval for your loan

__  Ask friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about real estate agents

__  Pick a real estate agent who knows the neighborhood, who come highly referred, and who you get along with

__  Research homes in your desired neighborhoods and ask your agent to set up a showing

__  Research the fair market value of homes you’re interested in

__ As the seller why they are looking to sell the house

__ Discuss any liens, easements, or restrictions on the property

__  Make an offer and begin negotiations

__  Be sure to include contingency clauses, inspection clauses, liquidated damages clauses, and special requests in the purchase agreement.  See FindLaw’s Home Sale Contracts for more information

__  Set the amount of earnest money with the seller

__  Establish a move-in date (don’t forget that liquidated damages clause!)

__  Sign the purchase agreement

__  Conduct a home inspection, making sure that it includes a pest inspection as well

__  Obtain home insurance

__  Pick an escrow agent

__  Pick a title company to research the title to the property and issue title insurance

__  Go over closing documents with your real estate agent

__  Review the settlement statement to get an idea of the closing costs

__  Pay the closing costs

__  Start moving in!

Next Steps
Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help
guide you through the home buying process.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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