10 Step Process to Buying a New Hampshire Home

1. Find a lawyer: It's a good idea to find a lawyer early on in the process of purchasing a home. Shop around to find an attorney you feel comfortable with and trust. Attorneys help protect your potential home's equity, while negotiating and representing on your behalf. Not only will a lawyer interpret often-convoluted legal documents, they'll make efficient use of your time and money as well.

2. Find an agent: New Hampshire doesn't require buyers to go through a real estate agent, but trained agents are helpful with navigating the home buying process, and are keep you from falling into hidden pitfalls along the way.

3. Application: Fill out an application for a mortgage at a local bank or credit union.

4. Mortgage Pre-Qualification: Your lender will review your employment, credit history, and other assets to determine a mortgage amount within your means. Your income must prove you'll be able to cover all home buying expenses. This step assures real estate agents you are qualified to buy NH real estate.

5. Find a home: Browse around on New Hampshire's MLS site, on real estate agent's sites, and in the classified ads in local papers. Be sure to consider homes within your means, and to look for homes with practical amenities and features that suit your lifestyle.

6. Appraisal: An appraisal is the process of developing an opinion of your prospective home's value. The lender will use this number to determine if the sales price is supported. After being requested by your lender, an appraiser then visits the property, researches all property and comparable property data, reviews, analyzes, and determines a value before submitting a report to your lender.

7. Inspection: An inspection involves a construction professional who can detect defects and can assess profoundly all aspects of the property, including elements that may not be obvious to an untrained eye. Following the inspection, you will make an agreement with the seller regarding repairs (sellers typically agree to make repairs, so long as they are reasonable).

8. Title: Your attorney will ensure the seller's title is "Marketable," meaning no issues turned up in his/her search through town records. You will be asked to choose to "hold title" "individually," as a "tenant in common," as a "joint tenant," or as a "tenant by entirety." Your attorney will explain the implication of these terms before your decision. At this time, the seller's attorney will also prepare a deed for you, which your attorney will ensure represents accurately the property's conveyance to you.

9. Pre-closing: Before the closing, you and your attorney need to settle on the correct amount you'll need to pay the closing attorney. Leave yourself a few days to ensure you have time to get a bank check or certified check. You and your agent will also conduct a walk-through prior to the closing to ensure the seller has maintained the agreed-upon condition of the property. Also, be sure to alert local utility providers, such as water, electric, gas, etc. that you're buying the property.

10. Closing: The closing will most likely take place at the bank's attorney's office, or at the bank itself. Fees you will pay at the closing often include recording fees, title insurance, prorations, agent fees, escrows, prepaid interest, and bank fees. The best insurance of a smooth closing is preparation.