EIGHT STEPS TO BUY A HOME
When you are starting to consider the home buying process, there are lots of steps involved. I have created an outline of easy to understand steps and when you hire me as your Realtor and I will be there every step of the way to navigate the process.
MAKING THE DECISION TO BUY
While there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.
- Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
- If you are paying rent in this area, you very likely can afford to buy
- There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
- The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase
- A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home
- The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
- Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – hire me and I will help you along the way
HIRE THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.
- The seven roles of real estate agent when you buy a home:
- Educates you about the local market.
- Analyzes and prioritize a list of your top wants and needs.
- Guides you to homes that fit your particular criteria.
- Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
- Negotiates on your behalf.
- Checks, double-checks paperwork and adheres to deadlines.
- Solves any problems that may arise.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.
From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.
- Six steps to Financing a Home
- Choose a lender.
- Make a loan application and get pre-approved.
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
FIND YOUR HOME
You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
- Important questions to ask yourself about your home
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- Is there a specific neighborhood and school district?
- Would I be interested in a single family home, townhouse or condo?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
MAKE AN OFFER
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies.
Price – the offer price must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. I will provide you with solid market research that will guide this decision.
Terms – the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Terms fall under five basic categories in a real estate offer:
- Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
- Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
- Closing costs-it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
- Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems.
- Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling out of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
PERFORM DUE DILIGENCE
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:
- Against loss or damage to the property itself
- Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
The property inspection should expose any issues a home might hide. That way you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.
Your major concern is structural damage.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finances. During the process when you buy a home, I will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.
You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:
Stay in control of your finances, check with your lender before making any big purchases like a car or furniture.
Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
Communicate with me at least once a week.
Several days before closing, we will be in touch. At that time, we will confirm that all your documentation is in place and in order.
Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.
At the Title Company, you will do the following:
- Home ownership
- Home Ownership Just Ahead
- Finalize your mortgage.
- Pay the seller.
- Pay your closing costs.
- Transfer the title from the seller to you.
- Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home buying process and commencement of your home-owning experience.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, we will have spent a lot of time together and gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, I want to keep in touch, there are many things the I can still help you with.
Even after you close on your house, I can still help you:
- Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
- Help your friends find homes.
- Keep track of your home’s current market value.
Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.
Home maintenance falls into two categories:
Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.
*Some content provided by eAgentC