Ranked among the top best places to live in the U.S, Kansa city is undoubtedly a city of charm and endless possibilities. From numerous job opportunities and affordable housing to top-rated colleges and, of course, some of the sweetest barbecues in America, it’s no surprise its homes sell faster. If you want to buy a home in this fast-growing Midwest jewel, you are at the right place. We will help you navigate the complex process as smoothly and quickly as possible and secure your dream home.
8 Steps to Buying a Home in Kansas
Here are the eight steps to buying your dream home:
Step 1: Save for a Down Payment
Down payment is the first payment of your home’s purchase price that you table at closing, and your mortgage lender can settle the remaining balance. Most mortgage lenders in Kansas require homebuyers to contribute about 20% of the home’s purchase price as their down payment. That can translate to $41,441 for a home valued at $207,207.
Nonetheless, you can reduce your down payment amount through several options. One option is government-backed loans, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) loans. With this financing, you can make a minimum down payment of 0% and 3.5% of the home’s purchase price, respectively.
If you are a low-income and first-time homebuyer, you can seek help from Kansas’ down payment assistance programs. When found eligible for the program, you can access financial aid to clear your down payment or closing costs.
Step 2: Look for an Experienced Real Estate Agent
To get a good home in the Midwest jewel, you need to hire a top-rated real estate agent to help you bid fast and avoid any risks. Other than helping you find the ideal property, your agent will be your main ally in making offers, negotiating contracts, and navigating the entire buying and closing process. They also link you to other service providers like land inspectors and title companies, making the entire process quick.
Do proper research to identify multiple real estate agents with relevant experience in those neighborhoods you are eying. Be keen about the following factors regarding your realtor:
- Years of experience
- Overall review score
- Number of successful transactions conducted in the previous year
- Experience working within your price range
- Individual complaints and reviews
Step 3: Get a Mortgage Pre Approval
Getting a mortgage pre approval letter shows that you are eligible for a specific loan amount worthy of purchasing a home. It shows potential sellers that you are a committed and financially-qualified buyer ready to make an offer for a home. Most Kansas home sellers may request a mortgage pre approval before allowing you to see their homes.
When looking for a mortgage lender, compare several lenders’ pre approval amounts and interest rates. It will enable you to settle for the best terms and rates. Once you get preapproved for a mortgage, ensure that your financial situation remains the same. A drop in your credit can derail the entire process, hindering you from getting your home.
Some of the best ways to ensure that your credit remains the same after receiving the mortgage pre approval letter include:
- Making your credit card payments on time
- Avoiding to close those accounts that have remained open for quite some time
- Avoiding to open new credit accounts
Step 4: Select the Ideal Location
Home prices significantly vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and from city to city. The typical average home value in Kansas City currently stands at $207,207, but that shouldn’t be a worry if it is contrary to your budget.
As you look for a place to buy a home in Kansas City, search for those neighborhoods with home prices that are within your price range. Also, look for neighborhoods where home values are increasing, and there are adequate local amenities and infrastructure to support your lifestyle. You may consider checking the previous home value trends to get an idea of the extent the home value would go in the coming few years.
Step 5: Begin House Hunting
Conducting a home search in Kansas is the most intriguing part of the entire home-buying process. It’s the best time to explore a wide array of home designs and discover what really excites you in a home. You can develop a list of your priorities and all the features you need in a home.
Start with those items that matter the most to you and narrow down to the rest. It will enable you to determine your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Your real estate agent can help you determine if your list of wants is realistic to your favorite neighborhood and budget.
Pay closer attention to your house hunt timing, as it can significantly impact your options. For instance, in Kansas, most homes are often up for sale in June. Doing your house search during such a season can give you access to more options and increase your chances of locating your dream home.
Step 6: Make an Offer
After finding your preferred home, go ahead to make an offer. Depending on the season, homes can stay on the market for up to 67 days or get snatched up quickly. Thus, it would be best to put in a strong offer immediately if you find a great listing to stay ahead of the competition. Your real estate agent can help you draft a compelling offer to convince the seller.
Step 7: Inspection and Appraisals
Inspections and appraisals allow you to assess the home’s value and condition before you officially buy it. After this step, you can choose to renegotiate the contract terms with the seller if you discover something in the house.
During an inspection, a licensed home inspector critically examines the house for unexpected, unseen, or potential issues. The crucial parts to examine include the roof, electrical system, foundation, HVAC system, and plumbing. You may also need to do a septic inspection if there is a septic system in the home. An appraisal will help you determine the property’s value. Most mortgage lenders request home appraisals to guarantee that the house is worth the money.
Step 8: Close the New Home
First, you must complete all the paperwork, sign the legal documents, and settle all the closing costs at a title company. Ensure you read and verify the information on each page before appending your signature. Some of the documents you will need to sign are:
- The title deed
- Disclosure documents
- Your final loan application
- The promissory mortgage note
Once done with the paperwork, you will then pay your mortgage closing costs, which include lender fees, title and escrow charges, prepaid costs, home inspection fees, and other costs.
You now have the entire home buying process under your control. Start making plans and seek financing from relevant institutions in Kansas to ensure your dream of becoming a homeowner comes to reality. Consult widely with your real estate agent to keep everything on track.