5 Things to Do Before Buying a Home

Angi Staff
Written by Angi Staff
Updated October 8, 2015
brick house, colonial house, exterior home
Make sure to get a credit check and preapproved for a loan before you start the house buying process. (Photo courtesy of Angi member Tom P., of Hopkinsville, Ind.)

Loan pre-approval and a credit check are two of several steps you should undertake before buying a house.

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For home buyers, technology has added new possibilities and it’s making the process tremendously efficient.

Not only can you browse homes for sale on web sites such as Realtor.com, but sites like Zillow and Trulia compile nationwide data about homes – whether they’re for sale or not –  which has revised the playing field. Both sites combine public records with sales information and community tools to connect buyers, sellers and agents. Each claims to list about 75 percent of homes for sale at any given time.

There’s a lot of information involved with buying a home. If you're a first-time homebuyer, don't despair. By doing a little research of the market and your finances, you'll set the foundation for a positive experience.

We consulted highly-rated real estate agents for these tips to help you out:

1. Check Your Credit

Pull your credit report and double check that the information is accurate and up-to-date. If there are any discrepancies, work with the credit reporting agency to have those cleared up before you inquire about a loan.

2. Are You Approved for a Loan?

Get pre-approved for you loan before you start looking for a house. Among the items you should have: Good credit, stable employment history, a positive debt-to-income ratio and document of your assets.

3. Investigate Any Potential Locations

Know the area where the property is located. If you see a lot of foreclosure signs in yards, it could be a sign that the area is declining in value. Take a look at the home’s surroundings.

4. Inspect the House

In most cases you will be able to inspect the entire property before buying. Hire a professional home inspector to inspect the entire house so you know exactly what you are getting into. Most foreclosed properties come “as is."

5. Do Your Homework on the Property

Make sure you find out if the property has any unpaid liens. If you don’t, unpaid lenders could come after you to try and collect what they are owed. Call your local building department. They can tell you if there any building permits that were never closed out.

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