House buying process in 4 simple steps

We all think about our dream home at some point. Sometimes when we are young, especially with families that move around a lot. Or as adults, when we have the income to support our dreams..

We all want to find a home that meets our needs, fits our budget, and allows us to become happy homeowners.

You might begin by making a checklist of what you are looking for: a garden, X number of rooms, natural light, a nice neighborhood, close to your office, with beautiful, durable materials. Your list is long and you begin to search the internet hoping for a miracle.

You start to think, “Is my budget enough to get all these things?” Or, “Does this house even exist?”

When you look at the options and begin making inquiries, you face numerous problems. Maybe you find the perfect place, but somebody else beats you to buy it. Perhaps you choose a realtor who doesn’t answer your calls or follow through with promises. You find a great place, but it’s way out of your budget.. You visit dozens of houses and none of them is enough for your checklist. You feel a bit desperate and might be about to give up on this dream.

Stop right there. Your ideal home is perfectly achievable.

According to a 2022 study[1], Colorado Springs is currently a buyer’s market, which means that the supply of homes is greater than the demand. Your ideal home is right there waiting for you. You just need to follow the right process.

Here are the essential steps of the house buying process so you can find your dream home with ease.

Step 1: Do Your Research

As with any big decision, the first issue is knowing what you want. You’re starting from a good place if you already have a checklist. But having a lengthy list of  must-haves will make this mission a more difficult one.

We recommend narrowing your list to 10 nonnegotiable items, including location, housing characteristics, and budget. 

You can always change a house, but you can’t change a location. Choosing particular neighborhoods goes a long way towards finding a home that meets your needs and aligns with your priorities. You might ask yourself questions like: Do I value historical character or prefer modern amenities of a planned community? Do I prefer living close to nature or in an urban setting? How far am I willing to travel to work?

We recommend zeroing in on two or three neighborhoods you would love to live in. Getting the true feel of a neighborhood can be difficult, but here are some questions worth considering.

  • Do you want a neighborhood close to a school for kids? If it is close to a school, will it be noisy during outdoor sports seasons? Will bright stadium lights flood your home?
  • If you have pets, is it a relatively pet-friendly area, or are there few pets around?
  • If you’re an active person, does it have amenities that support your lifestyle such as walking and bike paths, parks, or close to a gym?
  • Is the home on a main road? If so, will daytime and nighttime traffic be an issue?
  • Do you want to live in a “dark sky ordinance” neighborhood, or are you okay with lots of nighttime lighting?

If you’re researching remotely, use different websites to evaluate neighborhoods as thoroughly as possible. Google Street View is a great way to see what amenities or public transport options are around.

Once in town, you’ll want to take a thorough tour of the city to explore entire neighborhoods. Depending on your lifestyle, this includes schools, restaurants, trails, shopping centers, soccer fields, gymnastics studios, or even art installations. Search for a place you can picture yourself in: How can my life be like when living here? Remember what people say: there’s nothing like walking around to get to know a new place.

The Springs Relocation Guide[2] is an excellent guide for newcomers to explore neighborhoods, schools, and other relevant pinpoints in Colorado Springs. If you’re working with a Realtor, they can help you find out more information such as community amenities, crime statistics, school ratings, and how busy traffic is where you’ll be living.

Step 2: Find A Good Realtor

Buying a new home is an emotional and financial investment. Researching on your own is very useful, but it can also be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the city.

A trustworthy Realtor or real estate agent can guide you through buying a home in Colorado Springs. Use someone who will help you understand what you’re purchasing. You’ll want a real estate team who knows the Pikes Peak Region from bottom to top, and understands the process inside and out.

Thoroughly evaluate your real estate professional, making sure you have good communication with him or her during the process. This will save you lots of stress while looking for your house. You’ll want them to check YES to the 5 C’s: clarity, certainty, commitment, consistency, and capacity.

A good realtor will help you find good opportunities and approach the housing market strategically. 

Here’s a blog about Working With Real State Agents In Colorado Springs for you to read deeper into the subject.

Step 3: Be Prepared To Offer With A Lender You Trust

In a competitive, fast-moving market, it’s tough to acquire a home if you don’t have the money ready to make an offer. Maybe you find your ideal home. Then, in the middle of the paperwork to get the capital someone else makes an offer, and you lose your opportunity.

That’s why it’s so important to have your financial plan set and your mortgage pre-approved.

Talking through the process with a lender will help you clarify your strategy and purchasing power. Sit down with the lender and put all the cards on the table. How many payments are there? For how long? How much are you comfortable paying per period?

It’s good to gather recommendations and sit with multiple lenders before choosing one. Don’t just look at the interest rate. Make sure you know in depth which are the closing costs and fees. Sometimes the wording varies from one fee estimate sheet to another.

The good news is that Colorado law isn’t so hard with taxes on owners. If you compare Colorado to places like Texas or the East Coast, Colorado is quite friendly with homeowners when it comes to taxes.

And when comparing Colorado Springs taxes to the ones in other areas like Fort Collins, Denver, or Boulder, CS is still the less expensive.

Step 4: Look Closely At The House You Think Is Your “Dream Home”

It’s easy to fall in love at first sight with a home when it resembles so much everything you dreamed of. But there are a few questions that you want to ask before going ahead and buying. Contain your emotion a little bit, you want to make a cold-headed decision when it comes to actually making the purchase in order to be satisfied for a long time.

Perform A Thorough Home Inspection

Look for issues like bumpy floors, irregular walls, signs of water damage, missing shingles, gutters coming loose, old or low-quality fixtures and appliances. Be sure to revise any other sign of wear, tear, or needed repair. The best time to do this is before you make an offer, so that you can save yourself the trouble should you find serious problems.

How Old Is The Roof & Siding?

Let’s face it: Roofs are necessary, and expensive. If a home’s roof is at the end of its lifespan and you wind up having to replace it shortly after move-in, you’ll be shelling out thousands of dollars. Ouch. And if the roof has existing damage, the lender may require that it be repaired in order to approve your loan. If the listing description doesn’t show the roof’s age, make sure to find out so you can avoid a costly home-improvement headache later.

How Old Are The Appliances & HVAC Systems?

The anticipated lifespan of essential systems and appliances matters. The air conditioner, furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, and stove can help you anticipate major repair or replacement expenses. If these items are already at the end of their lifespan, or near it, ask the seller to purchase a home warranty. This can help cover the replacement costs in certain instances.

Why Is The Seller Leaving?

Understanding why the seller is moving — whether it’s due to downsizing, a job relocation or as a result of a major life event — might help you get a better deal on the property. A good buyer’s agent will try to find out this information for you and gauge how flexible (or not) the seller might be during negotiations. A motivated seller who needs to move quickly or whose home has been on the market a while is more likely to work with you than someone who isn’t in a rush to move.

What’s Included In The Sale?

Anything that’s considered a fixture is typically included when purchasing a house — think cabinets, faucets and window blinds. However, there could be items that you think are included but actually aren’t. This depends on your state’s laws. The listing description should spell out anything the seller is not including, but that’s not always the case.

So make sure to ask in your offer what is (and isn’t) included with the home. Do you really want that washer and dryer, or that stainless-steel refrigerator? Confirm whether the seller is willing to throw these items into the deal.

Step 5: Be Patient

Following all the steps and being accompanied by a trustworthy Realtor can help a lot, but the market is still very competitive. It’s important to understand that you will probably lose a couple of offers you present. The buying process has ups and downs. It will require a lot of patience on your part.

But, you know what they say: when one door closes, another one opens. Sometimes, losing a “dream house” means finding a better one. Keeping a long-term perspective will help you not be discouraged with the buying process.

The better prepared you are heading into the buying process, the more enjoyable it can be. The reward will be to sit down, relax, put your feet up, and enjoy fantastic mountain views from your new home in Colorado Springs.



Walk a little taller as you enter the home buying process.

Read these 10 important steps and gain the confidence to enter the real estate market like a pro.