How to buy a house in 2024?

Buying a house is a big step, and knowing how to buy a house can make the journey smoother and more successful. It’s not just about scrolling through listings and picking out your dream home; it’s a process that involves several key steps, each with its own set of considerations.

This guide will walk you through the steps to buying a house in 2024, packed with tips to help you navigate the twists and turns of the current real estate market.


Why is understanding the home buying process important?

  • Knowledge Empowers: With a solid grasp on the home buying process, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions at every stage.
  • Saves Time & Money: Knowing what lies ahead helps you avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary delays.
  • Reduces Stress: Being prepared for what’s involved reduces anxiety and builds confidence in your choices.


Key takeaway:

By following this guide, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of buying a house in 2024. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or seasoned investor, these insights will help you make an informed purchase.


Benefits of proper planning and research:

  • Better Financial Decisions: Research helps in understanding the costs involved and how they fit into your budget.

    Finding the Right Match: Detailed planning ensures you find a home that meets your needs while staying within your financial means.

  • Long-term Satisfaction: A well-researched purchase leads to long-term happiness with your new home.

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And if Columbus, Ohio is on your radar for buying a home, expert advice from VIV Capital makes navigating home buys in Columbus straightforward. Check out VIV Capital’s easy-to-navigate listings and expert advice to make your home buying journey in Columbus a breeze. Find your perfect match in the bustling Columbus real estate scene.


1. Understanding the Current Housing Market

When you’re looking to buy a house, having your finger on the pulse of the current housing market is crucial. Let’s dive into what the real estate scene looks like in 2024:


Real Estate Market Overview

The landscape this year is shaped by past events and emerging trends. After a tumultuous period of bidding wars and inventory shortages, we’re seeing some balance return. However, home prices and mortgage rates remain on the higher side, influenced by previous inflationary pressures.


Inflation and Interest Rates

These are two critical factors affecting home prices. Inflation has decreased from its peak but still plays a role in nudging prices upwards. Meanwhile, interest rates have been fluctuating—when they rise, borrowing becomes more expensive, which can cool down buyer demand and affect home affordability.


House Scarcity

A key player in this market is the limited supply of homes. This scarcity means sellers often have an upper hand. If you’re buying, you might face stiff competition for available properties, leading to potentially higher prices.

For those considering renting as an alternative while searching for the perfect home to buy, exploring rental options like those offered by VIV Capital in Columbus, Ohio could be worth considering. They provide an extensive selection of rental houses in Columbus that offer both comfort and convenience.

And if selling your current property before purchasing a new one is part of your plan, understanding streamlined sale processes such as the one VIV Capital describes may help you navigate both sides of the market more confidently.

Armed with knowledge about these market conditions, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions on your home buying journey.


2. Assessing Your Financial Readiness

Before you start looking for your dream home, it’s important to make sure you’re financially prepared. One key factor in the home buying process is your credit score, which affects loan terms and interest rates.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check your credit score: Get a free annual report from major credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. A good credit score is usually in the 700s, with the median for mortgage loans around 770.
  • Improve your credit score: Paying your bills on time, lowering your debt levels, and avoiding opening unnecessary new credit lines will help boost your score over time.

When it comes to the down payment, keep these points in mind:

  • Decide on an appropriate down payment: Aim for at least 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, there are various loan programs available that allow lower down payments.
  • Explore your options: Look into government assistance programs that may provide support for first-time buyers or those with lower incomes.

Creating a realistic budget is crucial:

  • Understand loan requirements: Educate yourself about different types of mortgages and what you need to qualify for each one. This will help you find a loan that fits your financial situation.
  • Consider all expenses: Factor in costs beyond just the mortgage payment—such as property taxes, homeowners association fees, maintenance expenses, and insurance.

For those interested in investment properties or diversifying their real estate portfolio, exploring options such as a rental portfolio from Viv Capital can provide insights into efficient investment strategies and property management.

By carefully evaluating your financial readiness and taking steps to improve if needed, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful home purchase.


3. Finding the Right Home

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When you start searching for your dream home, the location is the most important factor. It’s not just about proximity to your workplace; it also involves considering the quality of schools, access to parks, and feeling safe when walking around at night.

Additionally, it’s essential to think about long-term aspects such as resale values and future developments that could affect your investment.

Amenities are another crucial aspect that can greatly impact your daily life. Are there grocery stores, restaurants, gyms, or public transportation options nearby? Finding a neighborhood that aligns with your lifestyle preferences will make a significant difference in your overall satisfaction.


Why You Need a Real Estate Agent?

Hiring an experienced real estate agent is vital in this process. You need someone who has extensive knowledge about the specific area you’re interested in. They can provide valuable insights on market trends and guide you away from potential problems. When selecting an agent, look for those with a proven track record and ask them about their recent successful transactions in the area.


Tips for Effective House-Hunting

Here are some strategies to make your house-hunting journey more effective:

  • List Your Must-Haves: Before you start looking at homes, make a clear list of features and amenities that are non-negotiable for you.
  • Stay Organized: Keep detailed notes or use a spreadsheet to record information about each property you visit, including price, features, and location.
  • Be Prepared to Act Fast: In a competitive market, being able to make quick decisions is crucial. Get pre-approved for a mortgage and have your finances in order so that you can move swiftly when you find the right home.
  • Utilize Technology: Take advantage of online resources such as real estate websites and mobile apps that can notify you when new properties become available.

Remember, it’s important to remain patient throughout your search for the perfect home. Taking the time to find a property that meets your needs and aligns with your budget will ultimately lead to greater satisfaction in the long run.


4. Making an Offer and Negotiating

When you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to shift gears into making a solid offer that stands out yet also keeps your interests protected. Here are some key steps in the offer preparation and negotiation process:


Consult With Your Real Estate Agent

Before you make an offer, talk to your real estate agent. They will help you come up with an offer based on the home’s value, market conditions, and your budget.


Contingency Clauses

It’s wise to include contingencies in your purchase agreement. These are conditions that must be met for the deal to go through. Common contingencies cover areas like financing, appraisal, and home inspections.


Crafting Your Offer

When you prepare your offer, consider the asking price, how long the property has been on the market, and comparable sales in the area. Your agent can help you decide on a competitive yet fair price.



Sellers may respond with a counteroffer. This is where negotiation skills come into play. You can accept their counteroffer, decline it, or make a counter-counteroffer.

Moving forward, it’s crucial to understand what comes after your offer gets accepted—this includes inspections, repairs, and potentially more negotiations based on those findings.


5. Inspections and Repairs

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After your offer has been accepted, it’s crucial to schedule a home inspection as soon as possible. This is a pivotal step in the home buying process that can potentially save you from costly surprises in the future.

  • Schedule a thorough home inspection shortly after the purchase agreement is signed, typically within 10-14 days. This allows time to uncover any issues and address them before closing.
  • Carefully evaluate the inspector’s experience. Look for someone with a solid track record by checking reviews and references. Verify their credentials to ensure they have the expertise needed to thoroughly inspect your potential new home.
  • Use the inspection results as a tool for negotiation. If significant issues are found, discuss with your agent the possibility of negotiating repairs or asking for credits from the seller.


6. Securing Financing and Closing the Deal

Getting a mortgage preapproval is a critical step before you begin house-hunting. It confirms how much money a lender is willing to loan you and shows sellers you’re serious — and able.


Mortgage Preapproval

  • Approach lenders to get a preapproval letter.
  • Provide financial documents like pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements.
  • Understand the loan amount, interest rates, and any conditions attached.

Closing costs are another aspect of buying a home that can’t be overlooked. These are fees charged by lenders and third parties related to your home purchase.


Understanding Closing Costs

  • Budget for expenses such as loan origination fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, and more.
  • Review the Loan Estimate form provided by your lender for detailed costs.
  • Anticipate these costs to typically range between 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price.

During the loan approval process, maintaining financial stability is crucial. Any significant changes in your credit score or debt-to-income ratio could derail your financing.


Maintaining Financial Stability

  • Avoid taking on new debts or making large purchases.
  • Keep your employment status consistent.
  • Monitor credit reports for any inaccuracies or unexpected changes.

The final step before keys change hands is the final walk-through and signing all necessary paperwork at closing.


Final Walk-Through and Signing

  • Inspect the property with your agent to ensure all agreed repairs are completed and no new issues have surfaced.
  • During closing, review all documents carefully before signing.
  • Wire your down payment and closing costs ahead of time to avoid delays.

By staying informed about these steps, you’ll be better prepared as you move closer to owning your new home.


7. Considering Market Conditions and Timing

When looking for a new home, it’s important to be aware of market trends. Buying when prices are high can result in overpaying, and if the market later goes down, your property value could drop below what you paid. It’s like trying to jump onto a spinning carousel – if you time it right, everything goes smoothly; if you misjudge it, things can get rough.

Local market factors also have a big impact on your decision-making process:

  • Taxes: Different areas have different property tax rates, which can significantly affect how much you can afford each month.
  • Job Market: The strength of the local job market affects housing demand – a strong job market might mean more competition for homes and higher prices.


Understanding the Full Cost of Buying a Home

The costs of buying a home go beyond just the price tag. When planning your budget for 2024, make sure to consider all expenses:

  • Down Payment: Generally, a larger down payment means better mortgage terms.
  • Closing Costs: These will vary but expect to pay fees for loan processing, title company services, and more.
  • Ongoing Expenses: Monthly mortgage payments are just one part of the picture; don’t forget about utilities, maintenance, insurance, and potential homeowner association (HOA) fees.

By staying informed about these aspects of homebuying, you can make a smarter purchase that fits both your personal finances and the current market conditions.



When deciding to buy a house, it’s important to consider your own financial situation before being swayed by market conditions alone. Take a close look at your finances, including savings, credit score, and long-term stability, to ensure that you’re not only prepared for the initial purchase but also for the ongoing expenses of owning a home.

Owning a home has the advantage of building home equity, which is an asset that can increase over time as you pay off your mortgage and as property values rise. This equity can be a valuable financial tool for future investments or loans.

Making the right offer on a home requires understanding both the housing market and your personal finances. It’s about finding a balance between what you can afford, the value of the home, and your belief in its potential as an investment. Strive for a decision that is both financially wise and meets your housing needs.

Remember, buying a house is more than just a transaction; it’s a step towards your future stability and wealth. Prioritize your personal economic situation, work with trusted professionals, and enter the real estate market with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the home buying process is crucial as it provides a comprehensive overview of the steps to buy a house in 2024 and valuable tips to navigate the current real estate market. Proper planning and research before purchasing a home can also lead to significant benefits.

When assessing the current housing market, it’s important to consider the overview of the real estate market in 2024, the impact of inflation and interest rates on home prices, and the scarcity of houses and its effect on sellers’ advantage.

Checking your credit score before buying a house is important as it allows you to determine your financial readiness. Additionally, it helps in strategizing for improving your credit score and researching loan requirements and government assistance programs.

When finding the right home, it’s important to consider factors such as choosing a location, assessing amenities and neighborhood, hiring an experienced real estate agent familiar with your desired area, and implementing effective house-hunting strategies.

To prepare for making an offer and negotiating when buying a house, it’s advisable to consult with your real estate agent for offer preparation, include contingency clauses in the purchase agreement for protection, and respond to counteroffers or finalize the purchase agreement.

Securing financing and closing the deal involves getting preapproved for a mortgage before house-hunting, understanding various closing costs involved in the home buying process, maintaining financial stability during the underwriting phase for final loan approval, and completing a final walk-through and signing necessary paperwork at closing.