How To Buy a House in Ohio
August 11, 2022
Ohio isn’t known for its exciting landscape or great weather, but the state is known for its inexpensive cost of living and low prices for houses. According to Zillow, the average current home price in Ohio is $211,374 which is half as much as the national average of $428,700. Many people from states all over move to Ohio in hopes to find a place to live with modest costs.
Ohio has many claims to fame. The buckeye is the state nut that has been used to represent The Ohio State University in Columbus. Columbus is also the state capital and the most populous city in Ohio. If you’re interested in buying a home in Ohio, these are the steps you will need to take. Here are the steps to buying a house in Ohio.
8 Steps To Buying A Home in Ohio
Buying a house changes based on the state you’re in. Buying a house in Ohio is a process that requires multiple steps and can be confusing for first-time home buyers or buyers from out of state. However, if you follow these steps, the process will be much simpler and less daunting.
1. Assess Your Financial Situation
There aren’t a lot of purchases that are more important or expensive than buying a house. Not only is the down payment a heavy financial burden, but you’ll also be responsible for monthly mortgage payments, closing costs, homeowners insurance, and other extra fees. Before you even start looking at houses, you need to assess your financial situation and make sure you have the means to support all of the costs that come with buying a house.
To qualify for a mortgage, you need a healthy financial profile. Most lenders want borrowers to have a good credit score of 620 or higher and a debt-to-income ratio of at most 43%. On the low end, some lenders may require a debt-to-income ratio of no higher than 28%. A higher credit score also helps you obtain lower interest rates for your monthly mortgage payments.
The down payment is the most expensive component of a house purchase, and it’s commonly thought to be 20% of the total purchase price. However, the down payment can vary from 0% for government-backed loans (like FHA loans, VA Loans, or USDA loans) to 20% for a conventional mortgage. With an average home price of $211,374 and a 20% down payment, $42,274 would be the amount put down. The main benefit to paying a 20% down payment is to avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) but it’s not required. In fact, most first-time home buyers put a 6% down payment on a house.
2. Pre-approval For a Mortgage
Mortgage pre-approval is a process in which a bank or mortgage lender evaluates your financial health including your income, debt, along with your credit score and estimates how much they’re willing to lend you. Getting pre-approved is the first step in the mortgage process and it’s a good idea to get pre-approved before you start looking at houses.
Home sellers see mortgage pre-approval as a sign that you’re serious about buying a house and have the financial health to back up your offer. In a competitive housing market, being pre-approved can also give you an edge over other buyers who haven’t gone through the process yet.
3. Choose Where You Want To Live
Ohio has many different types of housing markets ranging from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns. The first step in choosing where you want to live is deciding what kind of environment you want to live in.
Do you want to be in the heart of a bustling city or do you prefer the peace and quiet of the suburbs? Do you want to live in Appalachia or near Lake Erie? These questions will help you narrow down your home search to specific areas. After you’ve decided on the type of environment you want to live in, your home search will be a lot easier.
4. Find a Great Real Estate Agent To Work With in Ohio
When making such a huge purchase like buying a house, making mistakes can be overwhelmingly detrimental to your long-term finances. The home buying process is complicated and filled with opportunities for things to go wrong.
Having a good real estate agent by your side helps to make sure that you don’t make any costly mistakes. Real estate professionals have a comprehensive understanding of the home buying process and the local real estate market. However, not all real estate agents are good at what they do and it can be difficult to find a reputable one.
If you want a streamlined way to find a good real estate agent, then you’ll want to work with a Negotiator. Negotiators are real estate agents that have all proven themselves to be top performers in their local real estate markets. They have closed a large volume of real estate deals and are skilled in the art of negotiation.
If you’re looking to buy a house and need help from an Ohio real estate agent who knows how to navigate these markets, search for local Negotiators here.
5. Start House Hunting
The fun part is when you’re finally ready to start looking at houses. Once you have a good understanding of your financial situation and have a real estate agent to help you in the process, you can begin your search for your dream home. From going to open houses to exploring new neighborhoods, this part of the process should be dedicated to finding the perfect place for you and your family to call home.
It’s important not to make any hasty decisions during this process because a mistake could be a financial burden that sticks with you for decades. To make the house hunt go easier, try making a list of non-negotiable requirements that are needed in your next house against the features that you want but don’t necessarily need.
6. Make an Offer and Negotiate
The offer is arguably one of the most important parts of the home buying process because it defines where the negotiations for the real estate transaction will start. For this reason, the offer also is what the seller will use to determine if you are a viable candidate for their home. This means that your offer needs to be well-researched and competitive in the current market conditions.
Your real estate agent will help you determine what a fair offer looks like for the house you’ve chosen and will also be there to help tailor the offer to the seller’s needs. The agent you work with is an instrumental part of the negotiation process because they have years of experience in the real estate market and with negotiations in general.
7. Get a Home Inspection and Appraisal
Although a home inspection and appraisal are two different things, they are often lumped together because they both are an inspection of the property. However, the purpose behind each one is different. A home inspection is an examination of the property to ensure that there are no major problems that could potentially cost you a lot of money down the road. An appraisal is an evaluation of the property to determine its worth in the current market conditions.
While you’re not required to get a home inspection in many cases, it’s highly recommended that you do because purchasing a house with major needs for repairs is a financial burden that you might not be able to handle. An appraisal, on the other hand, is usually required by a mortgage lender in order for the loan to be finalized. Both are important steps in the home buying process and should not be overlooked.
8. Close on the House
Closing is the last step in the home buying process and is when the purchase of the property is finalized. At this point, all of the paperwork will be signed and the deed to the house will be transferred to your name. Additionally, your mortgage should be finalized and all funds will be dispersed at this time.
Ohio law doesn’t require a real estate attorney to be present at closing but the buckeye state does require an attorney in review process. This is a three-day review process where an attorney looks over and approves the closing documents. Afterward, the closing process finishes simultaneously with the seller.
Looking for a good real estate agent in Ohio? Then you’ll want to look for a Negotiator. The Negotiators are a new type of real estate organization that streamlines your search for a high-quality real estate agent. These agents have all proven themselves to be top performers in their local real estate markets and as leading experts when it comes to buying a house.
Search here to find out if a Negotiator is in your area.