Don’t Stress About Buying A New Home!

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Home Buying Process:

Congratulations!

You’ve taken the first step in the process of buying a home. One of the most significant financial decisions you could ever make is to buy your first home. Researching and learning about the process is an essential part of finding that perfect home.

My goal is to assist you through the course of purchasing your first home every step of the way. From discussing your financial targets to what is required to buy a house through the process of locating your dream home, submitting and negotiating an offer, inspections, and attorney review to the excitement of taking possession of your new home at the closing.

Our service does not end there but goes far beyond the closing.

Owning a Home Has Many Benefits

1. Over time, home ownership builds wealth.
2. Every month, you build equity.
3. Advantages of mortgage tax deductions.
4. Benefits of tax deductions on home equity lines.
5. Benefits of capital gains exclusion.
6. Buying in the long term is cheaper than renting.
7. The benefits of a mortgage is a forced savings plan.

CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL REALTOR®

Buying a home is your dream, and as a realtor, it’s my job to be your advocate in making that dream come true. When selecting an agent, look for an agent that you like and get along with because you will be spending a fair amount of time with them. There is more to consider than an agent with the most sales or one that boasts about how great they are. When you’re looking for a real estate professional to help you purchase a home, keep in mind, good agents put their clients first.

 

A professional will:

1. Educate you in detail about the current market conditions.
2. Guide you in your search for a home that fits your criteria.
3. Negotiate the best deal with the seller on your behalf.
4. Keep track of deadlines and check paperwork.
5. Solve any problems that may arise to your advantage.

 

FIND A LENDER AND GET FINANCING

Locating a lender and obtaining funding is one of the most crucial parts of the home buying process. While the pre-approval process can be stressful, it will ultimately determine how much you can afford. When you have the exact number, you’ll be ready to start your home search. Ask your agent for a list of trusted lenders and their contact information.

1. Choose a lender and loan officer.
2. Fill out the loan application and get pre-approved.
3. Determine what you are comfortable paying and select a mortgage option.
4. The final step will be to obtain funding at closing.

BEGIN SEARCHING FOR YOUR NEW HOME

With your letter of pre-approval in hand, you are ready to begin your search. A good agent will show you how and where to start. Depending on your market, there are many homes available for sale. Diving in without someone to guide you can be overwhelming and confusing. As a professional, an agent has more tools and experience to help you accurately pinpoint homes that fit your search criteria. The perfect home will meet your most essential needs and as many of the things you want as possible. Keep in mind that as you navigate the process of searching for your new home, your priorities will often change along the way.

Some important questions to ask yourself as you begin should include:

1. What neighborhood or community do I want to reside?
2. How much space do I need in my new home and why?
3. What is more important to me: location or size?
4. Am I looking for a home that is move-in ready or would I consider a fixer-upper?
5. What type of home are you looking for: single family or condo?
6. Do you want a stable neighborhood or an up-and-coming?
7. What features and amenities are important?

MAKE YOUR OFFER TO PURCHASE

Once you have located your perfect home, the next step is to make a fair offer to purchase. Your agent will research comparable homes in the neighborhood to determine fair market value. Your agent will guide you through the process and advocate for you in negotiation with the sellers.

The stronger and more compelling your offer is, the better chance the seller will accept. There are three major aspects to a purchase contract: price, terms, and contingencies.

1. Price is what you are willing to pay and is often capped by your lender.

2. Terms govern the timing and financial aspects of the offer.

3. Contingencies are clauses that protect you during the process. They let you out of the deal if there are inspection issues or if you are unable to secure financing.

PERFORM DUE DILIGENCE AND INSPECTIONS

No house is perfect. Often, it takes trained professionals to uncover issues and defects with a home. Keep in mind, purchasing a home is an emotional process, but it’s imperative to manage your expectations. Your attorney will review the contract, and you’ll need to have a home inspection that will uncover any possible hidden issues. Before you sign any closing documents, it’s better to know what you are getting yourself into when purchasing a home.

 

  • It’s important to manage your expectations and not stress over the small items. Home inspection reports can be extensive. It’s the inspector’s job to put all the issues they find no matter how big or small on the report. Things that can be fixed easily, e.g., missing light switch cover plates or a loose doorknob, can be overlooked for the time being.
  • If any major issues show up in your inspection report, e.g., roof, foundation, electrical, etc., you should bring in a professional for a secondary inspection. For a roof, bring in a roofer. For a plumbing issue, bring in a plumber. If the item is of significant concern, or the seller is not willing to fix or give credit to have the problem corrected, you have the option of walking away from the purchase.
  • So, your home has now passed inspection. If you are financing your home, your lender will require it, and if you are paying cash, you should be, for the added protection, purchasing a home owner’s insurance policy. Homeowners insurance protects you against loss or damage to the property. Protection can include fire, flood, theft, personal injury or against liability on the property.

 

PREPARING FOR THE CLOSING

You have made your offer, your attorney has reviewed the contract, and you have completed the inspection process. There are some important things to keep in mind as you wait for your closing date to arrive to ensure you don’t put your mortgage at risk.

 

  • When your lender approved you for a loan, they did so with the information they had at the time regarding your income and monthly debt obligations. Now is not the time to be late on any credit obligations, purchase a new car, or to go on a new home shopping spree. Your lender will pull your credit right before closing, and any added debt will impact your ability to obtain financing.
  • Staying in contact with your lender and agent is essential. Return all phone calls, emails, and document requests promptly so you do not delay the closing.
  • Right before closing on the home, conduct a final walk-through with your agent to ensure the house is in the same condition and any repairs the seller agreed to have been completed.
  • A few days before closing, confirm with the lender that you have all the required documents: proof of home owner’s insurance, the settlement statement to review, and certified funds or wiring instructions (always confirm wire transfer instructions with the direct source via phone).

MAINTAINING YOUR INVESTMENT

Congratulations, you are now a homeowner! It’s an exciting time in your life, but just like any major purchase, there’s the responsibility of maintaining your home. It’s in your best financial interest to maintain your home for as long as you own it. Your home inspection report will often have tips on what to look for and how to maintain particular items. Replacing something significant like the HVAC system is always more expensive than maintaining it. There are many sources of information online that will guide you on maintaining your home.