First I would suggest that you work with a buyer's agent. This should not cost you any additional money and can offer you much protection and may end up saving you money in the end. It is the seller who pays the realtor's commissions so your first step should be to find a great agent to work with.
Next, you will need your pre-approval from a reputable lender. Today, you cannot make an offer that will be taken seriously unless your either have proof of funds for a cash offer or a pre-approval letter for financing.
Once you have the house under contract (and make sure that you have an inspection contingency in your contract), then you need to hire a home inspector. Your realtor should be able to provide you inspection is usually based on the size of the house. A good inspector will inspect the structure, roof, electrical, plumbing, furnace, a/c, hot water heater, etc. Normal prices for this inspection should run between $250 - $400.
Your agent and the inspector can advise you if additional inspections should be done. These would include well, septic (if applicable) and possibly radon, pest, mold and/or environmental. Many times these additional inspections are not necessary.
Good luck to you and if you need additional help, feel free to contact me.
Kathy Persha, Associate Broker
GRI, SFR, CDPE, CIAS
Keller Williams Realty
You will need more than one inspection and you will pay for them all.
You are well advised to have a real estate professional, not a lender, to advise you regarding the importance of these inspections, why they are esssential and the rights each can convey to you.
The result of the inspections becomes another facet of your home purchase. Information without interpretation is uselless. Leveraging this information to best protect you can be an important role for those who help others in the purchase and sale of dozens of homes a year.
Be aware, there is a real likelihood you will select an "INSPECTOR GONE GOOFY" These 'jellybeans' have been soley responsible for killing good deals due to unsubstaniated opinions they sling about. Your agent will know how to sort the 'jellybeans' from the real pros.
Now is the time for you to consult with the real estate professional of your choice, near you. As a 'first time buyers' going solo has real risks.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Once you enter into a purchase agreement, you normally have 5-7 days to get a private inspection performed. The $300-$500 this costs you can help save you thousands or potentially avoid buying a "money pit"
To find a home inspector in the area, go to http://www.ashi.org
The private inspection will usually be pretty detailed. Depending on the results of this inspection, this may lead you to purchase other, more specialized inspections - such as mold, well & septic, termite, etc.
Don't worry about things. The private inspection will cover almost everything, and if there is cause for concern and the home inspector is not specialized in that area then he will recommend you get it checked out by someone who does specialize
Hope this helps! If you should need any information about financing please feel free to give me a call or email me!
Loan Officer -NMLS #977416
WCS Lending, LLC
Phone: 248-945-4840 ext 278
Meet in person with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for. Your Mortgage Banker will discuss the various loan programs, closing costs, and most important of all, monthly payment.
Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.
Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.
Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!
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There is the PEST INSPECTOPN; often about $50, (they want to get the follow-up work).
There is a ROOF INSPECTION, often FREE, (they want to get the follow-up work too.
You could have SEPTIC, WELL, FOUNTATION, and if it is farm or ranch property, this could go on.
The proper procedure is to have CONTINGENCIES for the Inspections; that way, even if you are buying AS-IS, you can negotiate or get out of the deal if you need to.