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Lincoln, Nebraska Real Estate and Home Buying Guide

Will 2023 be your year to find your dream home in Lincoln, Nebraska?

The great news is you can buy a house with a down payment of under 5%. That means it's possible to buy a home even amid today's market fluctuations.

If you're looking to buy or build a home in Nebraska, learn what you should know about Lincoln, Nebraska real estate in this real estate guide.

Save for Your Down Payment

The first step in buying Lincoln, Nebraska real estate is to set aside money for your down payment -- the first portion of your purchase price. You will pay this at closing. Meanwhile, your lender will cover the balance.

Lincoln, Nebraska mortgage lenders generally ask that aspiring new homeowners contribute 20% down payments. That's $60,658 for a $303,288 home -- the average value of a house in Nebraska in August 2021.

However, if you pursue a government-backed loan, like an FHA or VA loan, you may contribute just 3.5% or 0% of the home price, respectively.

If you're a first-time homebuyer or you have not owned a house within the last three years, you may receive assistance from Nebraska's finance authority, NIFA. You might have to make a $1,000 contribution toward your new house to be eligible for this program.

Secure a Lincoln, Nebraska Real Estate Agent

Aspiring new homeowners should also be prepared to hire real estate agents when hunting for Lincoln, Nebraska homes.

Your agent will show you properties and assist you in making offers. They can also negotiate a contract and guide you through the home closing process.

Your real estate agent can furthermore recommend other providers of services, like inspectors and title companies. These parties can help you purchase your Nebraska house as well.

When looking for an agent, try to choose one with multiple years of expertise. They should also have experience helping buyers looking for homes in your target price range. The best real estate agents also have positive reviews on Google and social media sites.

Secure Mortgage Pre-Approval

The next step in buying a house in Lincoln, Nebraska is to seek a preapproval letter from your target mortgage company.

The letter will mention how much money the mortgage company is willing to lend you for your home purchase. This letter will show sellers you're serious and qualified to buy their home.

Pick the Right Part of Lincoln to Live In

When looking for Lincoln, Nebraska homes, speak with your real estate agent about the Lincoln neighborhood that will best fit your budget and taste.

For instance, homes in the University Place or Near South neighborhood may cost you half of what a house in Family Acres costs. In addition, homes in a neighborhood may have different features, so you should create a list of must-haves versus wants.

Keep in mind that June is typically when most houses are available for sale, so you may have more options when home shopping during the summer. Meanwhile, you might have the fewest options in December.

Can't find an existing home that meets your specifications? You may want to build your own home with the help of custom home builders. They'll help you pick the right plan for your home and bring it to life.

Make a Purchase Offer

If you're not building a custom home, the next step in buying a home in Lincoln, Nebraska is to make a convincing offer that will compel the owners of your dream home to sell it to you.

Homes in Nebraska usually sell most quickly in July. You may have to make several home offers before finally getting one accepted during this season.

Meanwhile, if you plan to buy in January, you may not face as much competition. Keep in mind that inventory is typically lower in the winter, though.

Get an Inspection and Appraisal

After your offer for a home has been accepted, you'll need to schedule an appraisal and inspection. This will help you better evaluate your prospective home's value and condition before you officially purchase it.

Your inspection should cover several parts of your home, including the plumbing, HVAC system, electrical system, foundation, and roof. Because Nebraska has higher radon levels than most other states, you should also test the house for radon using a test kit from the state's health department.

If the inspection or appraisal reveals problems with the house or the fact that the house is not worth the money you want to pay for it, respectively, you can renegotiate your home contract terms with the home seller.

Close on the Home

If the appraisal and inspection meet your expectations, you're ready to close on the property.

During the closing, you'll need to submit your down payment and also cover several other fees. These include lender fees, escrow and title charges, property taxes, attorney fees, and homeowners insurance.

How We Can Help You Find Your Dream Home

In this real estate guide, we've talked about the importance of saving for a down payment and finding the right real estate agent when buying a home in Lincoln, Nebraska.

You should also seek pre-approval for a home loan; choose a home in your favorite part of Lincoln; and make a Lincoln, Nebraska real estate offer. Finally, you should get an inspection and appraisal before closing on the home.

At Murray Custom Homes, one of Nebraska's leading custom home builders, we can assist you in creating your dream home.

Contact us to learn more about our services!

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