I am sure this will come as no surprise, but buying a home is one of the top life – and probably most important decisions people make. It will most likely be one of the biggest personal and financial decisions you will make as well. Deciding where you will live and how much you will spend will have a big impact on your life as well as your family’s life.
Whether you are a first time buyer, or an experienced investor, you have to think about so many things, including what kind of home you want to live in, the location, what kind of mortgage to get, and the process of buying a home.
But that doesn’t mean that buying a home can’t be fun or stress free. I will guide you through this process to make it as easy as possible. And the best part – using me as your agent won’t cost you a thing! The seller pays the agent fees, not the buyer.
Average time. Most people live in their homes for 5 to 7 years on average. Although you may choose to retire in the home you buy, you don’t have to. Life changes for all of us, and so do our needs. So the home you buy today may not be big enough in five years – or it may be too big and you are ready to downsize.
Don’t over-buy. No matter how much a bank qualifies you for, make sure you only buy what you can afford or want to spend. Consider your monthly budget including all your expenses, and even vacations, to make sure you are not spending more on your home than you want. Live in your home, not for your home.
Costs. Costs can vary when purchasing a home depending on the lender, the type of loan, the title company, the homeowner’s insurance you choose, and other factors that involve the home such as whether or not it has a home owner’s association (HOA).
Many of these fees depend on the price of your home.
An estimate of the title fees and costs associated with purchasing a home can be given to you by the title company. The lender you have chosen can give you their fees as well as the fees associated with the type of loan you have chosen.
There are a few upfront fees you will have to consider as well. There is an earnest deposit, which is deposited with the title company upon acceptance of the contract. This amount is generally 1% of the sales price. There is also an appraisal fee and an inspection fee. All of these amounts will be deducted from the total amount you owe at the close of escrow.
- First – Hire your trusted real estate agent. I will be there to guide you and protect you during the home buying process. There are many steps and a great deal of paperwork that needs be taken care of in a timely manner.
- Second – If you are financing your home, you need to understand the different loan and down payment programs. This pre-qualification lets the seller know you can afford the home when you are ready to make an offer. Shop around for a lender. I have lenders that I have worked with over the years. I am happy to refer them to you, if you wish.
- Third – Start your home search. It is helpful to know the area where you want to live, what is important to you in a home, how much you want to spend, and when you want to move.
- Fourth – Write an offer. Make sure you are happy with the offer you are submitting. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you want and what you need. But also be realistic. Most sellers are not going to discount their home by 10% when it has only been on the market for two days.
- Fifth – Once the offer has been accepted, deposit your earnest money with the title company. I will schedule the inspection with my preferred inspector, or an inspector of your choice.
- Sixth – Once the inspection is complete, negotiate the items you want repaired by the seller. Remember that even new homes will have items that need to be repaired. Make sure you ask for any warranted items and major repairs. Try not to nit-pick over small items that you can easily repair yourself. I will help you determine what these items are.
- Seventh – Once you have come to an agreement on what items will or will not be repaired, and have signed a document stating such, I will have your lender order the appraisal.
- Eighth – Assuming the appraisal came in at value, you are almost in the home stretch. If it did not come in at value, I will have to negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
- Last, but not least – signing with the title company. You will need to take in a check for the remaining balance due and sign the closing documents (which will require you to bring in your identification). Once the documents are signed, they will submit everything to be funded and recorded. Once that is done – the home is yours!! Congratulations!
Important Reminders. DO NOT change jobs or start your own company during this process. This could result in you not being able to qualify for a loan. DO NOT make any late payments or fail to make payments on any credit cards, current mortgages, or anything that could affect your credit. DO NOT make any large purchases. Wait until you close on your new home to buy that new boat, car, furniture or TV you have been eyeing.