Ready to buy a home? Let's Do This!
We have a success plan for you and it starts with some education. Far too often we work with people that have already picked out their dream home but have no idea if or how they can afford the home.
This is likely the biggest, most expensive purchase of your life, we suggest you put some time in to do it right. Taking time to understand the home buying process, how credit and mortgages work and what your true needs and wants are will put you on the path to success. Let us guide you.
Let's take a few minutes to learn more about Home Ownership and You
These learning tools will help you become an educated consumer in the Real Estate world.
Home Buying Kit for Dummies Packed with valuable tips for getting the best deal on your new home and navigating an ever-changing housing market, it shows you how to find the right property, make smart financial decisions, and understand the latest lending requirements and tax implications.
Buying your first Home You'll find insights from 15 real estate professionals—brokers, attorneys, mortgage specialists, a home inspector, and more. It’s like having a team of experts by your side! Plus, read real-life stories of over 20 first-time homebuyers.
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
Check Your Credit
Get a copy of your credit report a few months BEFORE you begin shopping for a loan to ensure its accuracy. Have any mistakes you find corrected immediately. This is very important: do not make any large purchases, open any new lines of credit DO NOT APPLY FOR NEW CREDIT CARDS AND DO NOT BUY A CAR
Understand Your Finances
Get very familiar with your finances – your income, debts, savings, and monthly expenditures – to assess how much you may be able to afford. When looking at your savings, remember to account for the down payment and closing costs. Getting your financial environment in order is a hugely important step in the home buying or refinancing process. Use these resources to put yourself in position to get the best loan possible with the least amount of difficulty. It all starts with a plan, it all starts right here.
STEP 2: FIND THE RIGHT TYPE OF HOME AND LOCATION
Single-Family, Condominium or Other?
Determine the type of home you want for your lifestyle and budget. Single-family home, condominium or townhouse? Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the maintenance that can come with single-family living, or if you prefer the lower maintenance condominiums can provide.
Determine Your Location
Where do you want to live – city, suburbs, or country? How far are you willing to drive to and from work and school, as well as your friends and family? Location is one of the most important factors to consider when finding the right home.
STEP 3: FIND YOUR TEAM
You will need a team to get your home bought efficiently and with the best terms. Buying a home is not the same a buying a cell phone, camera or even a car.
There are many legal procedures and documents to be worked through. Having a team that understands home values, contracts and negotiations. There are two main players that will form your team; Your Lender and Realtor.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is your partner in the homebuying process. It’s important to find someone who is experienced and with whom you are comfortable. If you don’t know any real estate agents, reach out to friends, family and colleagues for references. Sign the required Buyer's Exclusive Agency Contract, you can expect your realtor to send them to you digitally. There are two primary online document signature software apps Dotloop and Docusign.
Find a Lender
Your lender will play a significant role in your homebuying experience. It’s important that you find someone who is trustworthy and offers competitive terms. If you don’t have a lender, we have resources for you. I need a loan
STEP 4: FINANCE YOUR PURCHASE & BEGIN YOUR SEARCH
Acquiring a loan is the key to getting your new home, in this fast paced market you wont have time to get your financing in place after you find your dream home, it will be long gone. Understanding your options regarding financial assistance, rates and other terms is often over looked but very significant.
To get pre-approved, you’ll complete your lender’s loan application form, providing them with important information about your credit report, debt, work history, down payment, and residential history. If pre-approved, your lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter outlining how much you are qualified to borrow. Be sure to ask your lender how long this letter will remain valid, typically 60 days.
Being preapproved is a smart step to take when you are ready to put in an offer on a home. It shows sellers that you're a serious homebuyer and that you can secure a mortgage – which makes it more likely that you'll complete your purchase of the home.
Start House Hunting
Congratulations! It's time to go shopping for your new home. Now that you have prepared yourself by laying a solid foundation you are in position to make an educated decision. Begin by creating a list of absolute needs and a list for your wants, it is very important to have your expectations inline with your finances. By creating a list that is true to your needs, you and your realtor will be able to shop efficiently.
Your agent will depend on quality input from you to find homes that meet your needs; in this day and age no one has time to just be driving around looking at homes that are inappropriate for your needs.
You will receive listings (homes that are for sale) from your Realtor, when you find a home that matches your criteria, use the street view provided in their apps or use google street view to check out the neighbor's and neighborhood to get a good idea if it looks like a street that you would like to live on.
STEP 5: MAKE AN OFFER
Make Your Offer
Your real estate agent will help you determine an offer price that is fair, based on experience and looking at comparable homes in the neighborhood. Your agent will submit an offer letter to the seller’s agent that will include a deadline for them to respond, typically one to two days. This will be need to be signed by you the buyer and you expect those documents to be sent digitally.
Negotiate the Offer
The seller may counter your initial offer. Counter offers typically include things like asking for more money or adjusting the date of closing. Your agent will handle the discussions, negotiating on your behalf for the most favorable terms.
Sign The Purchase Agreement
Once you and the seller agree on the purchase price and other terms, all parties will sign the purchase agreement. At this point, you are in a binding contract with the seller.
You’ll need to provide your lender with a copy of the signed purchase agreement. At this time, you’ll work with your lender to finalize the loan application process to obtain final mortgage approval.
STEP 6: INSPECT AND APPRAISE THE HOME
Conduct a Home Appraisal
Your lender will schedule a professional appraiser to visit the home to determine its value. The value is based on the home’s condition and comparable homes in the neighborhood. The lender will want the appraised value to meet the value of the loan. It’s strongly recommended that you make the home purchase contingent on the appraisal.
Conduct a Home Inspection
Your real estate agent will schedule a home inspection to determine the condition of the structure and report back on any significant repairs that are required or recommended. It’s strongly recommended that you make the home purchase contingent on the home inspection.
STEP 7: CLOSING
Once your loan is approved, your lender will schedule the closing – one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. Closing is the final step to homeownership that involves all parties signing final documents and legally transferring the property, and keys, to you.