How is Smith Mountain Lake Waterfront Property Valued? - Key Factor #2

HUD Homebuying Tips

hollyReal Estate: Buying a Home Leave a Comment


Smith Mountain Lake is one of the best places to buy a home for many reasons. We share a growing community despite the economy. The schools are safer than most. The area is beautiful and gives you the feeling of being in the country while having all the conveniences of a big city. And the list goes on. It’s a great place to buy a piece of real estate that you can one day pass to your kids.

But perhaps now that you have decided to find the right home for your family, it feels like the hurdles involved have become confusing and even a bit overwhelming. Don’t let appearances fool you. Sure some important things need to happen in the home-buying process, but as HUD (US. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) says, “the process can seem complicated, but if you take things step-by-step, you will soon be holding the keys to your own home!”  Here is their formula:

Nine steps to buying a home

  1. Figure out how much you can afford
  2. Know your rights
  3. Shop for a loan
  4. Learn about home-buying programs
  5. Shop for a home
  6. Make an offer
  7. Get a home inspection
  8. Shop for homeowners insurance
  9. Sign papers

HUD Homebuying Tips

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford

What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment, and interest rate. The calculators below can help, but it is best to visit a lender to find out for sure.

 - How much home can you afford?
 - Buying vs. Renting
 - Home Economics

Need help with your down payment and/or closing costs?

 - Homebuying programs in your state

A housing counselor can help you figure out how to manage and pay off your debt, and start saving for that down payment!

 - Find a housing counselor near you

Step 2: Know your rights

 - Fair Housing: Equal Opportunity for All
 - Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
 - Borrower’s rights
 - Predatory lending

Step 3: Shop for a loan

Save money by doing your homework. Talk to several lenders, compare costs and interest rates, and negotiate to get a better deal. Consider getting pre-approved for a loan.

 - Looking for the best mortgage: shop, compare, negotiate
 - Let FHA help you
 - Why Ask for an FHA Loan?
 - Learn about interest-only loans
 - Avoid Predatory Lenders

Step 4: Learn about home-buying programs

 - Homebuying programs in your state

FHA loan programs offer lower down payments and are a good option for first-time homebuyers.

 - Let FHA help you
  HUD’s special homebuying programs


 - Good Neighbor Next Door (formerly known as Teacher/Officer/Firefighter Next Door)
 - Hurricane Evacuees discounted sales
 - Homeownership for public housing residents
 - Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184)

Step 5: Shop for a home

 - Choose a real estate agent
 - Wish list – what features do you want?
 - Home-shopping checklist – take this list with you when comparing homes
 - Homes for sale (including HUD homes)
 - Fixer-uppers ” – home purchase and repair programs
 - Manufactured (mobile) homes
 - Build a home

If you choose a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA), be sure to request a copy of the HOA packet, so you can review it before closing.

HUD Tips On Buying A Home

Step 6: Make an offer

Discuss the process with your real estate agent. If the seller counters your offer, you may need to negotiate until you both agree to the terms of the sale.

 - Making an offer

Step 7: Get a home inspection

Make your offer contingent on a home inspection. An inspection will tell you about the condition of the home and can help you avoid buying a home that needs major repairs.

 - For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection
 - 10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

Step 8: Shop for homeowners insurance

Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance. Be sure to shop around.

 - Homeowners Insurance
 - 12 ways to lower your homeowner’s insurance costs

Step 9: Sign papers

You’re finally ready to go to “settlement” or “closing.” Be sure to read everything before you sign!

 - Settlement Costs and Helpful Information


Thanks again to the HUD website for providing that incredibly helpful information. For much more info. on each of the above topics, you can visit their website ( 

HUD Homebuying Tips
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