As with other complex decisions, buying a house involves a series of steps. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Ohio, we recommend following these eight steps to move the process forward quickly and smoothly.

  1. Know what you can afford: There’s no point in looking at homes until you know how much you can spend. Use a mortgage calculator to determine what purchase price you can afford based on your household income, debts, and down payment. Then, see what kinds of homes are for sale within your budget.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Feeling confident about what you can afford and being approved for a mortgage is not the same thing. Get a pre-approval letter before you even start touring homes to help you stand out from other buyers in a competitive market.
  3. Determine wants vs. needs: Make three home priority lists early in the house hunting process. The first list should include the features you can’t live without. The second should have features that would be nice to have. And the third should be a list of absolute deal-breakers.
  4. Find a real estate agent: House hunting is so much easier with a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side. Not only can you save valuable time poring over listings, but you can learn about homes for sale before they become known to the general public. You can also gain access to useful resources, get help evaluating the property, and have an expert negotiator in your corner.
  5. Explore possible neighborhoods: If you live close enough, drive through the Columbus, OH, neighborhoods you’re considering to get a feel for them. Think about the amenities you want, such as parks and open spaces, recreational facilities, proximity to shopping and dining, and school districts.
  6. Don’t get hung up on cosmetic flaws: Remember, paint colors, fixtures, and finishes are relatively easy to change. So don’t turn down a house for having floral wallpaper if it’s perfect for you otherwise.
  7. Weigh the pros and cons: Every house you tour will likely have positive and negative aspects to it. During the tour, make a list of pros and cons that you can weigh later.
  8. Keep your money situation stable until closing: You may be excited to furnish your new home, but wait until after closing day to splurge on furniture, appliances, and other big-ticket purchases. Buying these on credit could affect your debt-to-income ratio. Even if you were pre-qualified, your lender could deny your application when they see these changes on your credit report days before closing.

At Vutech | Ruff, we aim to simplify the home buying process by assisting you with each of these steps. Our ultimate goal is to help you find your dream home at a price you can afford! To get started, feel free to browse the current listings of homes for sale in Columbus, OH. Then, call us at 614-897-0618 or contact us online to speak with a knowledgeable Ohio real estate agent.