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Buying a house in Ohio

Buying a House in Ohio 🏠 | Tips + Guide to Buy a House in Ohio & First Time Buyer Programs

Last Updated on: 16th April 2024, 12:52 pm

Buying a House in Ohio 🏠 | Tips + Guide to Buy a House in Ohio & First Time Buyer Programs

Buying a home is a significant achievement and offers countless benefits, from the ability to build equity to a greater sense of stability. However, many people want to know how to buy a house in Ohio but may feel intimidated due to a lack of understanding of the concept.

Although many steps are involved and it requires a fair amount of research, buying a house in Ohio becomes less daunting if you break it down step by step. So, to help give you a thorough understanding of the process, here is a step-by-step guide to buying a house in Ohio.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House in Ohio?

First, you should understand how much it will cost to buy homes in Ohio to be sure you’re prepared for the financial responsibility.

According to Redfin, the median price of a home for sale in Ohio is $250,000. So, if you plan on buying a home in Ohio worth that amount, you’d need to save about $12,500 to $50,000 for the down payment. You’ll also want to keep an additional $7,000 to $10,000 for closing costs.

Then, don’t forget about your monthly mortgage payment as well. Your exact payment will depend on the size of the downpayment and the interest rate you’re able to secure.

But a $250,000 30-year fixed-rate loan at 7.5% interest will require a monthly payment of about $1,750. So, there are many expenses related to buying a home in Ohio you should consider before making a commitment.

Single family home in an Ohio suburb

How Long Does it Take to Buy a House in Ohio?

Buying a house in Ohio typically takes about 30 to 45 days from the time you submit an offer. However, the exact amount of time can vary depending on a range of factors. Housing hunting in Ohio can often be the most time-consuming process, but the length of time that takes depends very much on you.

Are you prepared to make an offer after only seeing 3 to 5 homes, or would you rather see 10 to 20? The closing process can also get delayed if unforeseen issues with the property need to be addressed. But if everything goes smoothly, you can expect the closing process to take about one to two months.

What is Needed to Buy a House in Ohio?

Before you can buy a home in Ohio, you’ll need to show proof of funds. So, unless you plan on paying cash, you must be pre-approved for a mortgage.

When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll be asked to provide a photo ID and financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and any other documents related to investment accounts or other income streams.

Ohio is not an attorney-close state, which means you aren’t required to have a lawyer officiate the closing. However, it is an attorney-review state, which means you’ll need a lawyer to examine the title before buying a house in Ohio. So, either way, it’s always wise to have a reliable real estate lawyer and agent on your team to help advise you and prepare for the closing.

Ohio home

Buying a House in Ohio Step by Step

Now that you understand all the things you need to prepare to buy a house in Ohio, you’ll also want to better understand the overall process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you out.

1. Research Your Options

Before you do anything, you’ll want to research the best places to buy a house in Ohio for what you need. So, make sure to take stock of your needs and budget. Are you a single professional or a growing family? Do you want a modest starter home or a luxury mansion? You’ll find plenty of extravagant and affordable houses in Ohio to buy, but you’ll want to start by assessing your needs and desires.

The cheapest places to live in Ohio are cities like Ashtabula and Youngstown. The most expensive houses in Ohio to buy are in posh communities like Indian Hill and Huntington Valley. So, make sure to spend some time researching locations to ensure you find the best community for your situation.

2. Build a Team

Once you know where to live, you’ll want to build a team to help show you how to buy a house in Ohio properly. Most Ohio home buyers will want to start by finding an experienced real estate agent, especially if it’s your first time owning a house. A good agent can advise them on the entire process and provide valuable insights into the local market.

Although you aren’t legally required to work with an agent, buying a house in Ohio can be a complicated process. So, an agent may save you from making costly mistakes that will make paying a commission a worthwhile investme

In addition to an agent, you’ll also want to assemble a crew of other professionals such as an attorney, loan officer, inspector, insurance agent, and anyone else you may need. An experienced agent can help you find the most qualified professionals for the job (although still make sure to vet anyone else for yourself in case the agent receives a kickback for recommending certain professionals).

3. Obtain Financing

Next, you’ll want to secure your financing so that when you find the perfect home, you can make an offer as soon as possible. You can get a conventional mortgage from any bank or credit union. However, you can also look into government-sponsored loan programs such as FHA, VA, or USDA loans to see if you qualify. Government loan programs also offer resources on how to buy a house in Ohio if you need additional assistance.

They often offer more favorable terms for certain Ohio house buyers, especially if you have low income or bad credit. There are also plenty of great programs for first-time home buyers in Ohio, which offer added benefits for residents of the Buckeye State.

Once you find a loan, you’ll have a quick conversation with the lender to assess your credit and income. If everything works out, you’ll be provided with a pre-qualification letter confirming the amount the bank is willing to lend you, which you can show sellers as proof you’re serious.

4. View Properties

After you’re pre-approved, you can begin serious house hunting in Ohio. You can start to look at what’s out there before you are pre-approved if you like, but most sellers won’t seriously consider an offer without proof that you will have the funds.

You can look at as many or as few homes as you like until you find the perfect place to live. Most experts agree that you should look at at least 3 to 6 options before making an offer. However, don’t take too long because most mortgage pre-approval letters are only good for 60-90 days.

Aerial view of a suburban Ohio neighborhood.

5.  Submit an Offer

When you’ve found the perfect home in Ohio, you’ll want to make an offer as soon as possible so someone else doesn’t beat you to it. You should have a quick meeting with your agent to discuss whether you plan on offering the listing price or if it makes sense to submit a lower number and try to negotiate. You could even submit a higher offer if you think there may be competition from other buyers.

Most sellers will respond to your offer within one to two days and either accept it or submit a counteroffer. You can then go back and forth as many times as needed before you agree to a price or decide to walk away and look for a different property.

6. Do Your Due Diligence

To make it official, you will sign a purchase agreement within the next 10 to 14 days confirming the agreed-upon price and any other necessary conditions. After you sign the contract and agree to buy a home in Ohio, the due diligence period begins.

You’ll want to research the home during this period to ensure you’re making a wise investment. The bank will typically require you to conduct an appraisal to confirm the home’s value and double-check that you didn’t offer far more than it’s worth. You’ll also want to conduct an inspection to verify the property’s structural integrity and look for any potential red flags.

If any issues arise during the due diligence process, you can return to the negotiating table and agree on a new price or require the seller to fix the issues before closing. You may even be able to walk away if the problems are serious and were not properly disclosed.

Before officially buying a house in Ohio, you’ll also want to do a quick title search to ensure there are no ambiguities over who owns the property. If everything checks out, you’ll want to do a final walk-through to look for any last-minute issues about 24 to 48 hours before the closing.

7.  Close on the Sale

When the due diligence process is complete, the final step is to schedule the closing and sign the contracts. Ohio is an escrow state, which means both the buyer and seller are not legally required to be present at the closing. Although it is often wise to be present in case any last-minute problems arise and you need additional help learning how to buy a house in Ohio the right way.

You will meet with your attorney and/or agent to complete all the documents. Once you sign the dotted line, the seller will receive the funds, and the title will be transferred to you. At that point, you can congratulate yourself on successfully buying a house in Ohio and begin making the necessary arrangements to pick up the keys and move in.

Ohio First Time Home Buyer Programs

One of the most crucial steps of learning how to buy a house in Ohio is the financing. If you need help finding an affordable loan or paying for the closing costs, there are several programs and grants for buying a house in Ohio that you should look into. Here are a few of the top programs for first time home buyers in Ohio.

OHFA Homebuyer Program

The Ohio Home Financing Agency offers an affordable 30-year fixed-rate loan with generous income and purchase limit requirements that works with conventional and government-backed mortgages. Exact terms vary depending on the borrower and where they are buying a house in Ohio, but first-time home buyers (or those who have not owned a home in at least three years) can get a below-market interest rate on a 30-year mortgage.

Down Payment Assistance

The OHFA also offers first time home buyer grants in Ohio in the form of down payment assistance for those participating in their loan program. Ohio home buyers can apply for either 2.5% or 5% of the loan amount to be put toward the down payment, closing costs, or other pre-closing expenses. This Ohio first-time home buyer grant is forgiven after seven years, although you must repay the full amount if you sell the home or move somewhere else.

Mortgage Tax Credit

First-time home buyers in Ohio can also receive a Federal tax credit by writing off a portion of their mortgage interest on their taxes. The exact size of the credit varies depending on the location, property, and type of mortgage, but it can save you up to $2,000 per year.

The final step to buying a house in Ohio is preparing to move in. If you need additional assistance, Summit Moving and Storage is at your service. We are a trusted Ohio moving company with decades of experience and all the tools needed for an easy and efficient move. Call (330) 633-3633 for a free, custom moving quote.

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