What You Need to Know Before Buying a House

There are a number of things you ought to consider before buying a home.  In this article, we will discuss some of the things you should consider before buying a house and some basic information about some of the primary steps involved in the home buying process.

view of couple looking at their newly purchased home

Deciding If Buying a Home Is Right for You

Before beginning the home buying process, you should determine if buying or renting is right for you. Carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of both options can help you determine which may better align with your personal short-term and long-term goals. Buying a home is a substantial commitment; not only are there significant expenses associated with closing costs and mortgage payments, you must also consider real estate taxes, insurance, utility and heating/cooling costs, routine maintenance (such as lawncare, snow removal, etc.), and the possibility for expensive and unanticipated costs (such as replacing a broken furnace, water heater, etc.).  That said, homeownership also has many benefits such as housing stability, predictability when it comes to your monthly mortgage cost, the ability to build equity in your home, and the potential for your home to appreciate in value and help build your net worth.  Ultimately, home ownership is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and what may be right for some may not be right for others.  

Determine Your Budget

Buying a home could possibly be one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, so working with a mortgage lender to acquire a preapproval letter can help you understand your financial situation along with your loan options. Although you don’t necessarily need a preapproval letter to start looking at homes, a real estate agent will likely want to see one when you begin working with them. When evaluating your income and savings, give some thought to the following::

  • What does your income look like currently, and do you see it changing?
  • How is your credit score?
  • What do your other monthly expenses look like?
  • What kind of mortgage is right for you, and how much of a monthly payment can you afford?
  • How much of a down payment can you make?
  • Do you have funds prepared for closing costs, repairs, or other upgrades?

couple looking at their financials

Where Will You Want to Live?

Deciding where you will want to live and be located is another important aspect to think about.  Choosing where to live will affect where your children could go to school, if there are homeowner association fees, and determine your property taxes.

Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you navigate the market and negotiate with the seller. It is recommended to meet with multiple agents to figure out which may be the best fit for you. Many agents are recommended through word of mouth and mutual connections, so reaching out to friends and family in your area may be helpful.

Start Shopping for Your New Home

Once you have found your real estate agent, it is time to start shopping for your new house. Online shopping is a great way to start, helping to narrow down possible candidates of homes you would like to visit in person. It is important to take full advantage of your walk through in order to look for damage like ceiling leaks, mold, or other issues, and to ask questions about the age of the furnace and other systems.

The Final Steps of Buying a House

Once you have found the property you have been looking for, there are a few remaining steps that need to happen to make it yours.

Make an Offer – You and your real estate agent will submit your offer, and if your offer is accepted, it will be time to move forward with your mortgage application.  Once you have formally applied for your mortgage, it will enter the “underwriting” stage.  This is the part of the process where the lender will thoroughly review all of the documentation and make their final decision about whether to give you the loan or not.

Get Insurance – The next step is to acquire insurance for your new home. Your homeowners insurance policy should be set up to begin on your closing date. At Cross Insurance, we work with over 100 insurance carriers– from New England based companies to national names. You can contact our office to request a quote for your home here.

Home Inspection & Appraisal – A final home inspection completed by a professional can alert you to any last-minute issues that may be discovered. Along with having a home inspection, a home appraisal will be needed by the lender to make sure it is valued at the correct amount.

Closing On Your Home – If your home inspection didn’t go as planned, then you may want to negotiate with the seller to see if they are willing to make any concessions (which may be an agreement to fix an issue before closing, to pay directly for a repair, to reduce the purchase price to reflect the anticipated cost of the repair, etc.).  Other aspects of the deal can potentially be negotiated too, such as prorating some expenses or even having the seller pay a portion of the closing costs. Once you have received your closing disclosure, you will be able to determine the amount of money you will need to pay the seller. Finally, on your closing day you will be able to complete your final walkthrough with your real estate agent to make sure everything looks as agreed upon Once you have delivered all of the funds that are due and you and the sellers have executed all of the paperwork, you’ll receive the keys to your new home.

realtor showing couple a home for sale

Request a Quote for Your New House

To request a quote for your new home, you can fill out our form here. From there, an insurance professional will collect more information and details on what policies and coverage limits you are interested in, among other details. Some of these details may include, but are not limited to:

  • Where you are located
  • How much it would cost to rebuild your home
  • The materials used to construct your home
  • The age of your home
  • Your claims history
  • The claims history of the area you are located in

These, and other factors, will help to determine what you may pay for insurance premiums. You should connect with a local insurance agent to discuss the unique features of your home and request a quote today.



This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.


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