You can travel through the home buying experience with ease if you follow this helpful guideline.
Estimate what you can afford.
Begin the home buying process by interviewing and speaking with a few lenders mortgage brokers. Your lender will guide you through your loan application, provide an estimate of expected closing costs, as well as a pre-approval letter to present to your realtor.
Determine what you want and need in a home.
Your wants and needs should be based on your chosen location. Other factors to consider will include the type of home (single-family, townhouse, condo, etc.), the price range, the size (bedrooms,bathrooms, etc.), as well as any particular architectural style.
Research your target neighborhoods.
Work and family are important pieces to a home’s purchase. Determining your commute to work, school, churches, shops and restaurants will impact your neighborhood selection. There are many online websites to gather information on crime rates (crimereports.com), traffic, and zoning as well, which are further considerations for your purchase.
Work with a real estate agent who knows the neighborhood.
Buying a home requires a relationship with your realtor. In forming that relationship, you will sign a brokerage relationship agreement for your representation and protection. Your realtor will provide listings based on your criteria, setup tours of homes and accompany you to open houses. Your realtor will answer questions and follow up with more information as requested such as providing you with comparable homes, and property disclosures.
Make an offer and negotiate.
You’ve found the home of your dreams and you’re ready to move forward with an offer. Working alongside your realtor, you will determine a purchase price that you feel comfortable with, and spell out any special requests you want included in the sale.
Finalize the contract.
Once you and the seller agree on the terms of the contract, your realtor will contact the title company of your choice. Your agent will further take care of the logistics, including sending the lender a copy of the ratified contract and a copy of your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) check.
The road to close.
The next steps include ordering the appraisal and the home inspection. These professionals will help you determine if any items need to be re-negotiated. You will shop for a homeowner’s insurance policy at this point in the process, followed by your agent scheduling settlement appointments for you.
Finalizing the purchase.
The finish line is near. Your realtor will schedule a walk-through inspection prior to your settlement. You will be issued a settlement document and notified of funds to be collected and distributed. At the settlement table, you will accept the transfer of title of your property. Documents will be signed, and keys will be provided. Welcome home!