Buying a home is a big deal and can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are the key steps:

Step 1: Get your finances in order Start by figuring out what you can afford. Look at your income, expenses, and debts to determine how much you can spend on a home. And don’t forget to factor in property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. It’s also a good idea to check your credit score and improve it if needed to get a better interest rate.

Step 2: Get pre-approved for a mortgage Get pre-approved for a mortgage to know how much you can afford and become an attractive buyer to sellers. You’ll need to provide your financial information to a lender who will decide how much they’re willing to lend and at what interest rate.

Step 3: Find a real estate agent A real estate agent is your guide through the process. Find someone you feel comfortable with and who knows the neighborhoods you’re interested in.

Step 4: Start house hunting Now the fun begins! Your agent will set up viewings for homes that meet your criteria and budget. Take your time and have a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” to help prioritize your search.

Step 5: Make an offer When you find a home you love, it’s time to make an offer. Your agent will help you determine a fair price based on comparable homes in the area. The seller can accept, reject, or make a counteroffer, which can lead to further negotiations.

Step 6: Get a home inspection Before finalizing the sale, get a home inspection to uncover any potential issues. This can help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the purchase or renegotiate the terms.

Step 7: Close the sale If the inspection goes well, it’s time to close the sale. You’ll sign a contract, transfer funds, and purchase homeowner’s insurance. Once everything is signed and the funds are transferred, you’ll receive the keys to your new home.

Buying a home can feel like a lot, but with these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to finding and owning your dream home.

Content provided by Women Belong member Staci Yesner