You’ve decided that now is the time to buy a house or condo in Wisconsin… Prices are good, interest rates are low, you’re ready to settle down in one spot for a while, have saved some money for downpayment, and you have a steady job. But you’ve never done this before and need some help. Where do you start the home buying process? Read on.
Finances & Loans
• Know what you can afford. Here are several calculators to try.
• Learn about the various loan types: arm (adjustable rate), fixed, among others – some of which have very low downpayment requirements. Decide how much downpayment you can put down.
Home Search & find an agent
• Decide what you want in a home: size, bedrooms, baths, single family or condo, one story or two?
• Narrow down your locations. Pick a county, a few cities/towns. Consider your commute time. Review Wisconsin communities here.
• Start searching for your home, based on all the above, online (try firstweber.com) or contact a real estate agent to do the searching for you – First Weber agents are able to send you new listings via email so you see the newest listings as soon as possible. An agent can work with you as a buyer’s agent if you desire. Learn about Wisconsin buyer agency with First Weber Group.
• Hopefully, your online searches in the area and criteria you’ve decided to check out match up with what you can afford. You may need to expand your search if the home you are searching for is not available – or adjust your search standards.
• Find an agent through recommendations from friends, neighbors, acquaintances or prior experience with them. You can also find a Wisconsin real estate agent here and read testimonials from past clients and customers.
• Don’t depend on online listings only. You must see properties in person for a full picture. Attend open houses, have your agent set private showings for a personal tour.
Offer time & Negotiations
• When you find the right house, sit down and write an Offer to Purchase with your agent. Determine any contingencies you will need and any inspections you will want done. A home inspection is a must. Your Wisconsin real estate agent will walk you through the offer step by step. The seller has 3 choices with every offer: Accept, reject or make a counter offer in which some of the terms of the offer are modified. You, too, can then accept, reject or make your counter offer to the counter offer.
Inspections, Insurance, Prepare for closing
• Once both parties come to an agreement, much more goes on: An appraisal, home inspection, arranging for home insurance, completion of the loan process with the lender and doing a final walk through before closing, among other things.
• Prepare for closing. You must have proof of homeowners insurance and you’ll need your downpayment/closing costs. Find out the amount you’ll need to bring to closing and get a cashier’s check.
• At closing, paperwork will be explained to you and you’ll have to sign numerous documents. At the end of a successful closing, you are given the keys to your new house.
• Move in and make it your own.
Buying a home is not a simple 15 step process – most of the steps above are actually multi-item processes. This post is meant to provide a guideline or a checklist for home buyers new to the process so they know where to start on their journey and what happens as things move along. Your real estate agent will guide you through it all until you are finally a homeowner in Wisconsin.
First Weber sells real estate throughout Wisconsin: Metro Milwaukee and Southeastern WI, South Central Wisconsin, Southwest Wisconsin, Central Wisconsin, Northeast Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s great Northwoods. You can start searching for Wisconsin real estate and Wisconsin real estate agents at firstweber.com
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