Buyer's Guide

A complimentary guide when looking to buy a home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

main image secondary image

Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

main image secondary image

Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

main image secondary image

Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

main image secondary image

Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

Schedule A Consultation
main image secondary image

Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

main image secondary image

Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

main image secondary image

Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

main image secondary image

Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

main image secondary image

Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

main image secondary image

Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams. 

Testimonials

See why my clients love working with me.

L

Lucille P.

Some years back my husband and I considered buying a vacation home in Florida. We decided in June 2019 this was going to be the year to either do it or drop the idea. I submitted an inquiry about a home listing and it got route...
Read More

D

Daila

Full disclosure: I am the quintessential “I’ll need a drink after this” client. I’m pretty sure on the first call I even apologized in advance for the headaches I was about to create. Not only that, but my goal was to buy a hom...
Read More

J

Jarrett B.

I was living in Maryland when I made up my mind that I wanted to live in the Orlando area. However, there were a few problems. I knew very little about Orlando's neighborhoods and I had no agent. After reading the reviews on Co...
Read More

M

Megan S.

Fantastic Realty Team. Aaron Lowe was wonderful. Aaron Lowe at Core4 Realty Group gave an incredible experience for a first time home buyer. Not only was Aaron patient, knowledgeable, and friendly, he went above and beyond to e...
Read More

O

Olga B.

Aaron, Marissa, Justin, and the Core4 Realty Group were phenomenal to work with and I highly recommend their services to anyone looking to buy or sell a home in Central Florida. I connected with Aaron and expressed to him our f...
Read More

A

Allison S.

My husband and I had been house hunting for several months until we met Aaron with Core4 Realty Group at a random open house in Celebration. Aaron and his team have been servicing the Celebration area for many years and have in...
Read More

V

Virginia B.

Although I mainly live in CT, I have been visiting FL for 2 decades. I feel very fortunate to have met Justin several months ago when I began to actively search for a larger property to replace the 2 bedroom condo I owned in Ce...
Read More

J

Jen G.

Five stars all the way. My husband and I have been thinking about getting a rental property in Orlando for years and we finally did it this year. Aaron Lowe was highly recommended to us and we are so glad we met him. He is hone...
Read More

D

Delia P.

Renting in Orlando my entire life and having no idea where to start the home buying process, I needed guidance. After doing deep research, I found that Core4 Group best described my needs. When I tell you how smooth my home buy...
Read More

P

Patrick & Pauline

My husband and I were looking for an investment-vacation home in Florida and we stumbled upon some listings and entered in our information. That’s how we met Aaron, he quickly called us and discussed our wish list. Aaron follow...
Read More

A

Array C.

Aaron has been nothing but the biggest help during my journey of purchasing my first home. He walked me through every step, gave me advice on what I should do, and made sure I got the best deal possible. During this process, Aa...
Read More

S

Seller

My wife and I have been taking photos and videos for Core4 Realty Group’s listings since 2018. Aaron, Michael, Marissa, and Justin make such a great team. They are always extremely professional and know what it takes to get you...
Read More

D

Danielle F.

Aaron Lowe helped my family and me find the most perfect home in Celebration, Florida. His knowledge, guidance, kindness, and ongoing friendship proved to be the success in searching for our new home. Again, Tim, Fran, and Dani...
Read More

R

Robert W.

Arron was absolutely incredible. We were a special case and one of his first clients. We were in between Indiana and here and he never gave upon us. We are in a great home in celebration because of his efforts we highly recomme...
Read More

B

Buyer

Justin is just a great agent and man all around. He endured and found us our home after looking at so many properties. Would recommend him to all my family and friends. Great experience with him.
Read More

D

Dalton P.

Great company to work with, very responsive, and on top of their game. Made my home buying experience very smooth and easy. I will work with them again.
Read More

G

Gladys G.

Excellent customer service. They go the extra mile, never give up and support 100 % in our search to find the right home for us.
Read More

B

Buyer | Seller

Great Real Estate team for locating and purchasing a luxury property in Florida.
Read More

Work With Us

Core4 Group is equipped to provide clients with experienced representation and personalized professional service. Contact us today to start your home searching journey!

Follow Us on Instagram