Buying A Home

New owners
Congratulations! You’ve begun the process of buying a home. Taking the first steps to homeownership is an exciting and somewhat apprehensive move. Understanding as much as you can about the process before jumping in will make the entire transaction easier to understand and less stressful.

Here are the basic tips to homebuying.

#1. Interview Agents.

You want to find a buyer’s agent that you feel comfortable with and that understands the market and what you really need. Having your own representation throughout the process means that your needs, interests, and confidential negotiations are the top priority, not geared toward any one particular homeowner or seller. It is completely free to use a buyer’s agent as the agent or broker will receive half the commission from whichever home you choose. The goal is to find you the perfect home and negotiate for your terms and your price.

You might be tempted to use a friend, neighbor, coworker, or friend of a friend, but we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars and someplace you’re going to live for several years. You need to use an agent that is experienced and well versed in representing buyers as well as the community or neighborhood in which you want to buy.

#2. Get preapproved for a mortgage.

Unless you are buying a home with cash, chances are you’ll need to finance your home purchase. This should be one of the first steps even before looking at property. You need to know how much monthly mortgage payment your income can afford. If you look at homes first and find one you love only to discover you can’t afford the monthly payment, it can lead to frustration and disappointment.

Sit down with a real estate lender or mortgage officer to determine how much home you can afford. This is different than simply prequalification. Preapproval will determine from your assets, liabilities, debt to income ratio, and credit score exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home. Once you have this figure, then you can begin your search.

#3. Find a home and make an offer.

Your real estate agent will show you several different properties that match your search criteria and price. Once you find a home you love, your buyer’s agent will help you write up a solid offer. The offer is negotiated back and forth until mutual agreement occurs. As the buyer, you’ll need an earnest money deposit, which can typically range from $500 up to 10% of the purchase price, which gets credited to the purchase of the property at closing. This is also a good faith move on a buyer’s behalf to prove to the seller that you are serious about purchasing the property.

#4. Inspection and pending.

Once mutual acceptance of the offer has occurred, the transaction moves on to pending and subject to inspection. We always recommend getting a home inspection done on the property so that you understand as much about your investment as possible. Even if you plan on buying the property regardless of the inspection results, this is a great way to learn about your property, investment, and how to plan for the future.

Once the inspection contingency is satisfied, it’s time to move on to closing. Sellers and buyers will finalize any packing, documents, and gather necessary paperwork for the final signing. The escrow or title company will call each party in for separate signings and once the deed is recorded with the county and monies are dispersed, you can receive the keys to your new home.

While this is simply a quick snapshot of the homebuying process, we can help explain any part of the process in further detail simply by contacting us at any time.