5 Steps to Buying a Home

5 Steps to Buying a home 10-11-13

Step 1: Hire Your Agent

This is your dream, and your agent is your advocate to help you make your dream come true. When you’re looking for a real estate professional to help you, know that above all else, good agents put their clients first. A great real estate agent will: 1. Analyze what you want and what you need in your next home. 2. Educate you about the current conditions of the market. 3. Negotiate with the seller on your behalf. 4. Guide you to homes that fit your criteria 5. Coordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the process 6. Solve any problems that may arise. 7. Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.

Step 2: Secure Financing

Ultimately, your lender will pre-approve you for a certain amount, but YOU will decide what payments you can afford. Remember, your lender only sees your finances on paper. It’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to stretch your budget in order to get into your dream home. Be sure to follow these six steps to financing your home: 1. Choose a loan officer. 2. Make a loan application and get preapproved. 3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option. 4. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract. 5. Get an appraisal and title commitment. 6. Obtain funding at closing.

Step 3: Find Your Home

You are preapproved and ready to begin your search! How or where do you begin? There are a lot of homes out there and diving in without a guide can become overwhelming and confusing. An exceptional agent will help you more accurately and pinpoint homes that fit your criteria. The right home will meet all your important needs, and as many of your additional wants as possible. Some questions you might ask yourself include: 1. How much space do I need and why? 2. What do I want my home to be close to? 3. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper? 4. Which is more critical: location or size? 5. Is neighborhood stability a priority? 6. How important is home value appreciation? 7. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need? 8. Would I be interested in a condo? During your search for your new homes, your priorities will most likely adjust along the way.

Step 4: Submit Your Offer

Once you’ve fallen in love with a home, the next step is making a compelling offer! While emotions are probably in high gear once you’ve found a home you love, it’s important to remember that a home is an investment. Your agent will research similar properties in the neighborhood to help you determine the market value, and fair price, for your home. Look to your agent to explain and guide you through the offer process. 1. Price is the dollar amount you are approved for, willing and able to pay. 2.The three basic components of your purchase offer are price, terms and contingencies. 3. Contingencies are clauses that let you out of the deal if the house has a problem that didn’t exist or which you weren’t aware of when you went under contract. They specify any event that will need to take place in order for you to fulfill the contract. 4. Terms cover the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

Step 5: Close

Once you’ve made your offer and have completed the inspection process, you’re in the “home” stretch! But, in order to ensure that you don’t put your closing date, or your mortgage at risk, you have some pre-closing responsibilities that you’ll need to be mindful of. These include: 1. Keeping in touch with your agent and lender, returning all phone calls and completing paperwork promptly. 2. Staying in control of your credit and finances. If you are tempted to make any large purchases during this time, it’s best to talk to your lender first. 3. Conducting a final walk-through of the home with your agent. 4. Communicating with your agent at least once or twice a week, and verifying with your lender that all mortgage funding steps are completed. 5. Confirming with your agent, home insurance professional, and lender that you have the settlement statement, certified funds, and evidence of insurance lined up prior to closing

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