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When you’re buying a home for sale in Lakewood, Long Beach or the surrounding communities, it’s a whole process – and it’s one that your Realtor® will be there to help you with every step of the way.


But the more you know about the home-buying process, the beter off you’ll be.


The 5 Steps to Buying a Home


To buy a home, you’ll have to:


1. Determine how much you can afford

2. Get preapproval for a mortgage

3. Look at homes with your buyer’s agent

4. Make an offer and apply for financing

5. Close on the home

Here’s a breakdown of each of those steps.


#1: Determine How Much House You Can Afford


When you’re working out your budget to include a mortgage payment, it’s important that you factor in miscellaneous expenses for repairs or maintenance as well as homeowners insurance and other costs. You might also have to include extra money for utilities, which can be higher if you’re moving into a larger space or your current landlord is paying them for you.


#2: Get Preapproval for a Mortgage


Getting preapproved is the first step in the lending process. (After you’re preapproved and find the home of your dreams, you’ll apply for financing.) You’ll need documents like:

  • W2s
  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements

Your lender will pull a copy of your credit report and determine whether it would be willing to lend you the money to buy a home if your financial situation doesn’t change much.


You need preapproval because if you find your dream house during Step #3, you’ll be able to drop everything and make an offer that sellers can take seriously.


#3: Look at Homes With Your Buyer’s Agent


Your real estate agent will schedule tours for you in the homes that pique your interest.


#4: Make an Offer and Apply for Financing


Once you find one you love, you can make an offer based on your agent’s advice (and with your preapproval letter from your lender). You’ll officially apply for financing once the seller accepts your offer. Remember, the financing process can take from 30 to 45 days, so plan appropriately!


#5: Close on the Home


Your real estate agent will be with you every step of the way – and she’ll be at the closing table with you. This is where you’ll sign the final paperwork that makes the seller’s home become your home. It’s also where you need to pay your closing costs, which generally range between 2 and 5 percent of the home’s sales price, and where you may get the keys to your new residence (unless you, your agent and the seller have come to another agreement).


Are You Moving to Lakewood or Long Beach?


We’d love to help you find your dream home, so call us at 562-882-1581 to let us know what you’re looking for – we’ll start searching right away.


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