10 Unexecpted Steps to Buy a Home in 2024 | Boston Suburbs

by Feb 21, 2024Home Buying Advice

You’ve decided that this is the year you are going to buy a new property, and this could be your first ever home or maybe you are upsizing or downsizing and it’s been a while. Well this video is going to give you 10 concrete steps to take in order to achieve that goal, and we’ll keep the steps simple. If you want more detailed information or have questions, drop a comment or shoot me an email.

1. Know your why! Why are you buying a home this year – very important. It will be competitive. You might miss out on a few properties and have to stay mentally tough to not quit the process.

2. Narrow down your towns/areas to 5 or 6 at most. This will give you a lot of options to look at without feeling completely overwhelmed.

3. Start going to open houses to explore the towns, and see what your money gets you in different areas. For example $1.5 million will give you different options in Medford vs. Arlington vs. Lexington.

4. Once you’ve seen a good amount of homes, it’s time to reach out to a few lenders. If you don’t know any, have your realtor recommend one. If you don’t have a realtor, then you can go 1 of 2 ways. Ask friends and co-workers for lender recommendations or turn step 4 into finding a realtor. Now, this is a big decision. Do you even need a realtor. No you don’t. You could go solo, no help. You could also give yourself a haircut. Yes the hair will get shorter, but the journey might be difficult, and we’re not really sure what kind of end result will happen. Or things go really bad with the self hair cut. In any case, we’ll have a separate video on How to hire a buyers agent because we want to stick to the task at hand.

So step 4 or 5, depending on the order, will be to talk to a lender, or chose a realtor to work with and then talk to a lender. I do recommend talking to at least two lenders as they have different programs available. Some banks have much better Jumbo loan products, while other banks will have incredible programs for buyers with lower downpayments and lower credit scores.

6. is Buckle up. Once you have a pre-approval in hand its time to seriously start looking at homes and submitting offers. Depending on the property type you are looking for, it may be super competitive or you might be the only game in town and can negotiate. For example a single family home in Winchester MA listed for $1.3 million received 16 offers the first weekend. Vs if you are looking for a home in Lexington MA between $2.5 and $4.0 million there are 15 available and the average days on market is 140. I’m guessing some of those sellers are ready to strike a deal.

7. You have found the one. The perfect home. It checks almost all the boxes, because remember no home checks every single box. It’s time to craft an offer. This is where the experience of your agent comes into play. You will discuss offer price, how to handle inspection contingency, appraisal contingency, finance contingency, timelines, closing dates, leasebacks, maybe Use and occupancy’s, etc. There are a lot of levers you can pull when crafting an offer.

8. Your offer didn’t get accepted. Don’t be surprised. This is assuming it was a a competitive situation. If you are buying a $4 million dollar home in Lexington then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve clearly made some great life decision to get yourself to this point. For the rest of us it’s back to open houses and submitting offers. But guys, don’t get discouraged. I had a client who’s first 10 offers didn’t get accepted. Then number 11 did, and guess what, they love the house they ended up getting. You gave yourself a goal of buying a house or a condo, so don’t give up when your first offer or two don’t get accepted. Let everyone else give up and drop out. You’ll be there at the end, still standing, holding the keys to that brand new house.

9. Your offer is accepted. Congratulations. That is the hardest step to get past because of all the different factors that lead up to it. Some of which are in your control, some of which are not. From here your realtor will guide you on series of steps to get to the closing table, but I’ll quickly outline them. You’ll put in your earnest money deposit, you may or may not have an inspection, after which you may or may not negotiate items that are discovered. You’ll also select an attorney to represent you in negotiating the purchase and sale contract where you’ll put down your second deposit (usually 5% of the purchase price, minus the what you already put down in the first deposit). The attorney will also represent you in the closing. At the same time you will submit additional loan documents to your lender and lock in your rate. If there is an appraisal and there happens to be a shortfal than you and your realtor will need to have a plan on how to handle that. you’ll need to set up utilities and home insurance. Then the day before or the morning of your closing a final walk through will happen to make sure the house is still the same as it was when you last saw it, and any requested repairs were completed.

10. Closing day. You need to be present on closing day. You cannot sign the papers from your house in Nantucket ,just because you’re buying a $4 million home in Lexington. All buyers attend the closing to sign the paperwork. A few days prior, the rest of your downpayment will need to be wired over to your attorney, or you can bring a paper check to the closing. Now the most important step is next. After you closed, got the keys, and are standing inside your new home, take a moment to congratulate yourself. You accomplished your goal, and have acquired an asset that in the long run will appreciate, gain value, be something you take pride in, and will give you financial flexibility when you need it.